Late in the Caps' rock-bottom loss to the Rangers last month, Matt Hendricks and Sean Avery engaged in the sort of thing that often happens towards the end of such blowouts (video above).
Avery got the better of the Caps' grinder in that scrap, with the evidence there on Hendricks' face for all to see. How'd it happen? As the HBO cameras captured Hendricks theorizing to Bruce Boudreau and Mike Green in Epsiode 2 of 24/7, "What I think happened is that when I went down, Avery landed on me and punched me twice, and I think [the] side of my face hit the ice." Hendricks didn't say it, but it would seem that he was perhaps of the mind that the brunt of the damage was delivered in a less-than-honorable manner.
Fast forward to last night, where John Tortorella put Avery out for the opening faceoff... and Boudreau countered with Hendricks' line. The two middleweights started talking and before long, Avery was offering up some non-verbal communication. Earlier today, Green confirmed what everyone in the building saw (listen to the audio from Elliot in the Morning here.):
Elliot: It looked like Avery kept shaking his head, "no." Was Hendricks asking him to go?
Green: 100% he was, I can guarantee.
The question, then, is this - did Avery owe Hendricks (who has never been shy about holding opponents accountable for perceived misbehavior) a rematch, or was his polite decline of Hendricks' invitation well within the pugilist's "code" (whatever that is)?