Philadelphia Flyers Wreck Sean Avery and the New York Rangers

Jason SapunkaCorrespondent IISeptember 27, 2011

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 26: Sean Avery #16 of the New York Rangers checks the scoreboard following an altercation with the Philadelphia Flyers during an NHL preseason game at Wells Fargo Center on September 26, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Gary Bettman and the National Hockey League announced on September 26, 2011 that the 2012 NHL Winter Classic would be played in Philadelphia between the New York Rangers and the Philadelphia Flyers.

The afternoon's press conference included some verbal jousting between the Rangers' president and General Manager Glen Sather, and Flyers' founder Ed Snider.

This harmless enmity seemed to carry over directly into a physical battled between the teams later that night in a preseason game.

Action started early when Philadelphia's Zac Rinaldo and New York's Dale Weise squared off for a fight seven minutes and 30 seconds into the first period.

Once the two players grabbed onto each-other, Weise attempted the first punch, leaning forward and missing Rinaldo's head.

Rinaldo quickly fired back on Weise, landing two hard shots to the face that knocked the helmet off.

As Weise missed a right, Rinaldo landed a left while still gripping the jersey of Weise, then landed another hard right to Weise's face.

Rinaldo attempted another left, missing, which caused Weise's jersey to come up over his face. Rinaldo fired a hard right and hit Weise in the face, the jersey still up.

As Weise tried pulling his jersey down, Rinaldo threw another right that hit didnt' reach Weise's head, but then fired an uppercut that knocked Weise back a bit.

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 26: The New York Rangers and the Philadelphia Flyers mix it up in the first period following a hit by Tom Sestito of the Flyers during an NHL preseason game at Wells Fargo Center on September 26, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylv
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

At this point, the linesman came in to save Weise from the beating. The decisive win for Rinaldo left Weise bloody and the Wells Fargo Center on its feet.

Just 30 seconds later, the physical action escalated again after Philadelphia's Tom Sestito drove Andre Deveaux into the boards.

Deveaux had been working for the puck behind the net and went down to the ice. Sestito was skating hard towards the area. As he got back to his feet, Sestito was four feet from the goal line, coming in fast. When Sestito got to the boards, he pushed Deveaux.

This caused Deveaux to slam his face against the boards. Immediately, Stu Bickell went after Sestito, pulling him down to the ice and throwing two punches before the rest of the on-ice players arrived.

Philadelphia's Sean Couturier attempted to pull Bickell off Sestito before New York's Brian Boyle grabbed Couturier.

Sean Avery of the Rangers tried getting at Sestito, who was now at the bottom of a four-player pile including Bickell, Boyle and Couturier.

The last time these two teams became involved in a scrum like this, Avery grabbed non-fighter Matt Carle and punched him, not stopping even when Carle went down to the ice.

During Monday night's scrum, Matt Walker threw one punch at Avery while attempting to pull him off the pile. Deveaux sought out Walker and the two grabbed onto each-other but did not punch.

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 26: Sean Avery #16 of the New York Rangers is hit by Wayne Simmonds #17 of the Philadelphia Flyers during an NHL preseason game at Wells Fargo Center on September 26, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Bruce Bennet
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images



If the two had threw punches, it is likely they would have been given game misconducts as a secondary altercation.

Meanwhile, the initial scrum dispersed as Bickell and Sestito found each-other. Sestito threw one punch before the two fell to the ice and were promptly separated.

As this occurred, Simmonds ended up onto the ice at the area of the initial scrum. When he was down on the ice, Avery attempted a punch that missed. A linesman separated Simmonds and Avery before anything further happened.

Later in the first period, Simmonds gave Avery the opportunity to fight him in a fair manner.

At roughly 13:35 into the first period, Simmonds dropped his gloves, but Avery went down to the ice in a fetal position, turtling.

Avery had initially been quite eager to throw punches at Simmonds when Simmonds was down on the ice in a defenseless position, but showed no interest when Simmonds was on his feet and ready to fight.

In the second period, Braydon Coburn would be successful in getting to Sean Avery, but in a different manner.

After Avery made a play in the neutral zone, Coburn stepped up and pushed Avery. Avery went down to the ice on his back. Despite finishing his shift, Avery would not return to the game.

The last of the physical play occurred roughly 17 minutes into the second period. After a minor boarding penalty by Max Talbot, Deveaux dropped his gloves and challenged Talbot.

Talbot, being 35 pounds lighter and 4 inches shorter, stepped back and declined.

This game was an entertaining preview to what is sure to be another great season of the rivalry between the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers.

In addition to dominating the physical play, the Flyers won the game 5-3.