Tuesday, April 21, 2009
There are people today on call-in shows and blogs questioning whether the Rangers should bench Sean Avery for Game 4, given his penchant for penalties last night.
I feel that I have to offer my opinion: Those people are insane.
Avery was one of four Rangers who played his hardest yesterday - Hank, Betts and Cally being the others (all of the defenseman took turns watching plays). I keep Avery in the lineup – even with the high likelihood of two or three minors called against him deserved or not. We have the top penalty killers in the NHL, what he brings is well worth it. Did any of these folks out there actually watch the games prior to Sean's arrival? Do you want this series to end in six, losing four straight?
As I said in the comments over at Blueshirt Banter where a Ranger fan actually raised the debate, if you want a bold move you don't bench Avery. Try benching the still injured Drury. Try benching the ineffective Zherdev. The ineffective Mexican’t Gomez who aborted every damned attack single handedly. Try winning a power play faceoff for once for chrissake. Try not going offsides 18 times a game. Benching one of the four players who show up for every game is just stupid, no matter how many penalties he is ‘awarded’.
Avery's presence is worth it even if the Blueshirts should start Game 4 shorthanded after sending Colton Orr over to send the message that showing up your opponent at center ice of your own building (below) is utterly unacceptable.