For each player who suited up in a Blueshirt this season we will take the good, we will take the bad and take them both and see what we have. And this time around we started with the high numbers and are up to #16, Sean Avery.
#16's #s: 76 games, 3 goals, 21 assists, -4, 174 PIM (4 playoff games, no goals, one assist, -1, 12 PIM).
Take the good: When Sean Avery was being Sean Avery, well, he was Sean Avery. He was a prime pest, a hustling dervish who drove his opponents to distraction. On multiple nights when the Rangers played flat, uninspired puck, Avery was one of - if not the only - Rangers to bring his game, in fact he seemed to step it up when his teammates stepped down. He forechecks well, he is one of the best skaters on the team and he was one of the few Blueshirts to actually get Gabby to wake up. Despite putting up a team-high 174 PIM, he showed remarkable patience as he was often a prime target for opposing checkers and rabble rousers. For all of the talk about what a dirty player he is, Avery had just two unsportsmanlike conducts and no diving calls the entire season. The Rangers were 12-4-1 when he registered a point.
Take the bad: That means he made it onto the scoresheet in just 17 of his 76 games. Not enough. Avery scored just three goals - his lowest total since his rookie season in Detroit - and his .022 shooting percent was the lowest of his career. His penalty minutes were the highest they've been since he was a King, thanks to six 10 minute misconducts. Avery had 12 fights, his highest season total since before the lockout, and he won just four - going 4-5-3. Fighting minor league nobody Mike Haley on the Islanders may be one of the dumbest things he has ever done.
Take them both and then we have: One confused hockey player with a dubious future with the franchise. Avery averaged 11:14 minutes per game but played far less than that in 15 of the last 16 games he played during the regular season. That was before the playoffs where he played four of the five games and averaged 12:22. Torts never gave him the chance to gain any chemistry with his teammates, bouncing him around the lineup. And the super pest was stupefyingly scratched for several games down the stretch and once during the playoffs (Torts clearly not learning his lesson from 2009). The unadulterated adoration of the Garden faithful wore down as his effectiveness diminished this season but the class he has shown in his public backing of gay marriage has gone a long way to restoring support throughout New York and the rest of the NHL.