Last week, when forward Sean Avery had just been recalled from the Connecticut Whale of the AHL, I stressed that it would be crucial for Sean to take it easy and do the simple things out on the ice in his first few games in the NHL this season. After all, head coach John Tortorella did say there were better players on this team than Avery last month, so he couldn't afford to make any costly mistakes out there and prove Torts' theory to be correct right away.
In games one through three for Sean this season, he did exactly what I said he should. He made the most of his ice time, which wasn't very much at all, and played a hard-nosed game, leaving everything on the ice on every shift. He got pucks to the net, he forechecked, he defended and he played physical. Really, Tortorella couldn't have asked anything more of the widely known pest.
Quite honestly, I think his smartest move to that point was when he challenged Zenon Konopka to a fight after Konopka had made some comments about Avery's teammates prior to their match in Ottawa last week. I didn't have much of a problem with what Konopka said, because he was right, but the Rangers coaching staff did, as did the players. Avery then took it upon himself to defend the team and fight Konopka, and I think that right there was when he proved to everyone that he is here for the Rangers, not himself.
It was in game four, however, which took place this past Friday against the Carolina Hurricanes, that we saw Sean Avery do a little more than in his first three games. Right off the bat he scored a very pretty goal to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead, and from there he played a solid game all around. Afterwards he said that what he did on that night was exactly how he needs to play on a game-to-game basis, and he is absolutely right.
Tortorella, shockingly, even acknowledged Avery's efforts after the game...
"Sean played better. You could see right away his legs were going. He was pressuring the puck." - Torts to Andrew Gross
With that, Sean Avery is now ready to take the next step in the slow but sure process of re-securing a spot in the lineup here in New York. Last week, between the fight and the goal, Sean proved that he has a role on this team that no else could fill. What do I mean by that? Well, just look at his competition. Erik Christensen can score a pretty goal here and there, but he could and would never stick up for a teammate. Meanwhile, Mike Rupp will drop the mitts, but you won't see him roofing shots on breakaways anytime soon.
It is my belief that the spot is there for Avery's taking right now, because the coach is admittingly liking what he's seen from Sean, and that's evident just by the fact that he gave him over ten minutes of ice time last game, as opposed to the five or four he saw in the previous three. Avery is ready to take that next step and be the impact player he once was - he just has to do it consistently.
As you all well know, the New York Rangers are on a recent 6-0 run and there is a specific reason the team is feeling so hot; alternate captain Brad Richards reportedly started dating uber-hottie Olivia Munn over the last few weeks. In his last 7 games, Richards has netted 7 points, so scoring off the ice seems to help his performance ON the ice too. I could care less about the Rangers...
When Michael Del Zotto entered the New York Rangers scene in 2009, he entered with a vengeance. Del Zotto had 12 points (4-8-12) in the first month of the season, of which eight of those points (3-5-8) came with the man advantage. Finally, the Rangers had a successor to Brian Leetch. Tom Poti tried and failed, Michal Rozsival tried and failed, and countless others tried and failed...
The New York Rangers’ current six-game winning streak is the longest streak they’ve had since the 2009-2010 season, when they won seven in a row. And according to Larry Brooks, this is only the sixth time in the past 17 seasons that the Rangers have put together a six-game winning streak. It feels good. It [...]
Pat Leonard at the Daily News reports that Michael Del Zotto returned to practice this morning after sitting out on Saturday to rest his sore hip.Katie Strang of ESPN NY tweets these lines from practice this morning...Anisimov-Stepan-GaborikDubinsky-Boyle-CallahanAvery-Richards-FedotenkoDeveaux-Christensen-Prust...while I love to see Avery with Richards, I'm not a big fan of...
Given the New York Rangers current six game winning streak
it is hard to see coach John Tortorella changing anything in terms of the
lineup, but shortly there will be a decision to make on defense. Anton Stralman was signed to play and add to
the offense from the blue line and while he is still being worked into the
system his shot is coming soon. The
question is whether...
John Tortorella continued his own personal All Star campaign for Dan Girardi by saying this about the Rangers defenseman to Blueshirts United..."He's turned into an All-Star player," noted the head coach. "He does everything. That's the simplest way to put it. He does everything there is for us, and he's the most underrated defenseman in the league. You...
TSN moves the Rangers all the way up to #1 in their most recent power rankings...1. Rangers - Winners of six in a row, the Blueshirts have allowed only nine goals against in those six games, while they've been led by the line of Marian Gaborik, Artem Anisimov and Derek Stepan....i know the Rangers have been on fire, but #1?ESPN (3), CBS Sports (8) and The Hockey News (12) also...
Last night Sean Avery showed just how effective he can be
for the New York Rangers. In the end he
was not the star of the show as Brandon Dubinsky scoring his first goal of the
year took away much of the spotlight, but Avery was the Rangers best forward
for two periods. Avery provided energy
when much of the lineup was lacking it, scored a beautiful goal top shelf over...
The Dan Girardi write-in campaign has officially begun and will run until January 4th.So get your you know what over to NHL.com and start voting for Girardi.You can vote for Girardi 30 times a day through the online ballot, texting Girardi to the shortcode 81812 (Message and data rates may apply) or through the mobile ballot available on iPhone, Android and other mobile devices...
Morning all, although only just for me as its almost midday here in the UK as I’m typing this… On a relatively quiet weekend for the Rangers (how often does a team get Saturday AND Sunday off?) its time to take a look around the Rangers universe at some of the more interesting reads.
Nick over at Rangers Tribune makes a very valid point (at least in my opinion, as well as his...
TONIGHT’S GAME: The Rangers will face-off against the New York Islanders tomorrow at Nassau Colieseum (7:00 p.m.), as they look to extend their six-game winning streak. The Blueshirts currently rank second in the Atlantic Division standings, and fourth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 9-3-3 (21 pts). The Rangers enter tomorrow’s contest having [...]
… what a win. And what a goal by Sean Avery in the 1st period. Pure sniper shot there. Dan Girardi once again played an AMAZING game and deserves to make the All-Star team already. Do not forget that the Dan Girardi write in campaign for the NHL All Star Game starts on Monday!
New York Rangers look to extend their winning streak to seven tonight as they
head to Long Island tonight to take on the rival Islanders. On paper it seems like an easy task as the
Rangers are now 9-3-3 while the Islanders are 1-6-3 following their 3-1
start. As Rangers fans know all too
well, games in this rivalry don’t turn out how paper would suggest they should...
Andrew Gross at Rangers Rants has this quote from John Tortorella after Sean Avery's break out performance last night..."Sean played better," Tortorella said. "You could see right away his legs were going. He was pressuring the puck."...he played better?!?!?!? The guy had a sick goal, was a +2 and drew two penalties. I'm pretty sure that's a lot more...
Sporting their postgame fedora awards, the red hot New York Rangers have rocketed into the Top 5 of Adrian Dater's Power Rankings this week while reality bites some of the upstarts.
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