During Game 1 of the Western Semi-Final series between the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks, Corey Perry took it upon himself to agitate (or at least attempt to) Jeff Carter of the Kings. With his team trailing, Perry could have been understandably frustrated with something happening during the game. So, what does he do during a stoppage? He sprays water into the glove of Jeff Carter, which was sitting on the boards right next to where Perry was standing. Since then, the Ducks star has been lambasted by Kings fans for his act. But being angry with Perry wasn't what initially came to mind.
It is the playoffs where all teams elevate their respective games and do what's necessary to win. I already questioned Anaheim's tactic of attempting to injure Drew Doughty - and was offended by it. Now, I'm questioning Corey Perry's tactic of filling Jeff Carter's glove with water - but I'm not offended. Instead, I'm downright confused.
Never mind that he plays for the Kings's most hated rival, I have always found in Corey Perry something very inaccessible. When speaking to the media, he comes off as the epitome of social ineptness, and I'm pretty sure that I'm not the only person who believes that. For example, before Corey Perry re-signed with Anaheim last March, he was asked by members of the media how the process was going and if he expected to remain in Anaheim after the trade deadline and beyond. Perry not only appeared irritable but it looked as though as if he was talking right into his own chest.
But his on-ice tactics have proven to be just as peculiar. During a game in Carolina, Perry skated by the Hurricanes bench stole the stick of an opposing player sitting on the edge of the boards. Then, on Saturday night during Game 1, Perry wetted down the inside of Jeff Carter's glove. On the TSN feed of the contest, color analyst Ray Ferraro got a kick out of Perry's move, and it was funny. But had Perry attempted to egg Carter on with his gesture, then he failed miserably - especially considering the Kings forward immediately laughed it off.
On February 2, Jeff Carter told Mayor's Manor that Perry was "a little rat." He could not have been more accurate in his assessment. While the Kenny Linsemans, Matthew Barnabys and, as a current example, the Brad Marchands have all played the role of agitator to a T, there's something different about Corey Perry. He is an agitator but what he does only leaves fans, experts and even opposing players scratching their heads. Heck, it's difficult to imagine that Perry and Carter were Canadian teammates in Sochi three months ago, much less winning gold.
What was spraying water in Jeff Carter's glove supposed to accomplish? Had it been sulphuric acid, that would have been more effective, albeit egregious and grossly inhumane. Even spraying Pepsi in the glove would have made the inside a bit sticky, thus making it difficult for Jeff Carter to adjust his hand - but water?
If this type of behavior is the best Corey Perry can come up with, then those on the side of the Los Angeles - whether players, coaches or fans - will not help but to simply laugh at should a ridiculous choice to agitate the opposing team.
Worse for Perry, after his little prank, he was run over a couple of times which seemed to have rattled him a bit more. If that's what it takes to throw Corey Perry off his game, then the Los Angeles Kings seem to have the former Hart finalist right where they want him. Of course, I do not want to jump to such a conclusion. After all, despite the 2-0 series lead for the Kings, this series is far from over. After all, if their first-round series versus San Jose was any indication, then the Los Angeles Kings know all too well that nothing is set in stone until they beat their opponent four times in the postseason.
While I am prepared for Game 3 of this series set for Thursday, I am additionally curious to see what Corey Perry has in store for the Los Angeles Kings. Furthermore, I will be very interested to see how the Staples Center faithful welcomes Anaheim's No. 10 to their stomping grounds. While everyone can almost guarantee that he will not receive a warm welcome on Thursday night, many, including myself, will wonder until then just exactly what the Kings fans in attendance will have in store for Corey Perry.
Being that he plays in Orange County, I believe it is only prophetic to refer to Corey Perry as the Buster Bluth of the National Hockey League. Whether he slept with his mother's best friend or her automatic vacuum is unknown but like the youngest member of Arrested Development's dysfunctional family, Corey Perry comes off as the type that is so awkward, he doesn't even know how to properly agitate the opposing team.
The thought of giving Corey Perry the opportunity to crawl under the skin of the Los Angeles Kings - or any team, for that matter - leaves the most lucid of critics uttering one phrase: God, help us all.