Found December 12, 2011 on
Blue Seat Blogs:
When looking at the raw ice time numbers, there are a lot of conclusions drawn about the ice time given to Sean Avery (over the last few games) and Erik Christensen (last night). There were a few angry tweets from what appears to be the majority of fans thinking that Avery got the shaft because he received so little ice time, while Christensen is clearly favored because of the ice time he got last night.
Looking at the total ice time, it’s easy to see why people would jump to those conclusions. In Buffalo, Avery received just six shifts for a grand total of 3:48 of ice time. Last night at the Garden, Christensen received 16 shifts for a total of 12:54 in ice time. Looking at those numbers alone, it would appear that Christensen indeed has more favor with the coach than Avery. But looking deeper at the numbers, that’s not exactly true.
Against the Sabres, Avery played each of his six shifts at even strength, and did not receive one shift on the powerplay or on the penalty kill. Two shifts at even strength per period is exactly what is expected of a fourth line player who does not receive –or deserve– any time on special teams, especially in a game that was not decided until the third period. That in itself is why Avery’s ice time appears to be diminished.
Looking at Christensen, it’s easy to see why he has more ice time: he plays the powerplay. In last night’s win over Florida, the Rangers had three powerplays. One went the full two minutes, one went 1:08, and the last one went 1:55. That’s a total of 5:03 of powerplay time for the Rangers throughout the game. Christensen received an extra 1:29 of powerplay time. That plays into his extra ice time.
Another aspect of his increased ice time last night: The Rangers blew out the Panthers. The game was decided long before the third period began, so coach John Tortorella began playing his fourth line more often. In a non-blowout situation, a coach generally rolls his lines in a 1-2-3, 1-2-3-4 pattern. What that means is that he will play his first line, second line, and third line in a row. Then he will start again with his first line, and go through to his fourth line. This rotation generally repeats itself.
*-Naturally there is more to this (matchups, special teams), but for the sake of this post I’m simplifying it.
With the game out of reach for the Panthers, Tortorella ditched the usual rotation and rolled his fourth line more often, giving Christensen more ice time late in the second period and for the entirety of the third period. This explains his 11:25 of even strength TOI.
Let’s remember that before Christensen wound up a healthy scratch, his last game was the 2-1 loss to Florida last month. He played just 8:01 during the game, with 6:05 coming at even strength. That’s an extra two shifts over Avery’s ice time from Buffalo. This was Christensen’s first game in a month, where Avery played in each of the games that he was a healthy scratch.
Let’s also remember that these are fourth line players, and neither will be with the club next year. Perspective is important too.
BEST OF MAXIM
There is nothing like a good old Sean Avery debate to get New York Rangers fans going.
As we know, Sean is currently the odd-man out of the lineup as of Sunday night, when he was deemed a healthy scratch so that Erik Christensen could re-enter the lineup against the Florida Panthers. Prior to that game, Avery was receiving less than four minutes of ice time from head coach John...
Update, 6:15 p.m.:Full Torts quote on sitting Avery (via Rangers Rants)..."I don't think Sean's been dead on. Having said that, he hasn't had a bunch of ice time. I'm just having problems finding ice for him. I have other guys filling the areas and doing the things that I need done and I'm a little concerned about shootouts. We've struggled a little bit...
As part of New York Magazine's "Reasons to Love New York 2011", Will Leitch points to Sean Avery moonlighting as a fashion maven and gay-rights activist the 13th biggest reason..."It's more than a little ironic, then, that the most despised person in a sport full of despicable people has, amazingly, become one of the most progressive athletes in all of professional...
As per Andrew Gross, the Rangers are going with the old adage of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” and have decided to go with the same lineup tonight as they did against Florida. This means that Henrik Lundqvist will get the start. This also means that Sean Avery will be a healthy scratch tonight, and Erik Christensen will dress in his place. It is unlikely that Christensen...
… uh oh, Torts just pissed off the Pro Avery Lifers. I do not like Christensen and rather have anyone else in this lineup than him. Poor move by Torts.
For those who credit the recall of Sean Avery to the New York
Rangers with the team turning around their slow start this season to be 17-6-4
through 27 games there should be cause for concern that Avery might be sent
away again. Coach John Tortorella
scratched Avery for last night’s game, replacing him with Erik Christensen, but
more than the scratch itself, the
We wonder if we’ll see any follow-up to this Twitter exchange. New York Rangers forward Sean Avery - who goes by the handle @imseanavery on the social networking site - is a pest for NHL opponents and now, it seems for 19-year old bombshell models.
Updated, 11:18 a.m.:The Rangers have announced that Michael Sauer (concussion) will not accompany the Blueshirts on their up-coming trip to St. Louis and Phoenix....ugh.Torts also hasn't ruled out Rupp being able to play in those games.Finally, Andrew Gross says that Staal's skate this morning was the first time he's been on the ice with a full Rangers squad since the...
It seems like there are some common misconceptions with regards to how Torts distributes ice time among his forwards. I figured I would cherry-pick a few of our reader’s comments and explain some of the logic behind how ice time is earned on this team.
Keep in mind I am not trying to call people out for their opinions; I am just using these quotes as a point of reference.
John Tortorella spoke at his pre-game presser about subbing Erik Christensen for Sean Avery tonight, about how hard it is to get something out of guys playing five minutes a game, about the importance of getting Brandon Dubinsky going, and about having the HBO cameras and microphones in the lockerrooms.
No pre-gamer with John Tortorella because he addressed the unwashed masses after the morning skate today. This is standard procedure. It’s always one or the other.
So no new news, really. Same lineup tonight, which means Sean Avery is prucha’d (unleash the blog traffic) while Erik Christensen gets a sweater again.
And since some of youse brought...
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Right back at it tonight against the Cats (7:30 starter).
1) The Rangers were really in control of the first 10 minutes of the game and I thought they did Jhonas Enroth...
The Rangers must feel nervous that they aren't going to wind up making good television when they make their HBO debut this week.
As we all know, good drama requires conflict or obstacles to overcome with great difficulty and the Rangers haven't had much of either recently.
They crushed the Panthers 6-1 at the Garden on Sunday night, completing a weekend sweep in grand...