Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Weighing In

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.


Ben said...

Come on Scotty! The "unacceptable" behavior at center ice last night was anything but. Backs and OV have been doing that every game this season that they win, whether it be at home or on the road. it's not like they did it while the whole building was watching.

but hey, if that's what it takes to get your team fired up that's your problem.

too many rangers fans making too big of a deal about something that shouldn't have even been in a discussion.

Canyon of Blueshirts said...


just because backstrom and ovechkin do that every game they win home or away, doesn't mean it's right when they're at MSG and doesn't mean that Rangers players shouldn't be pissed and looking to send a message.

That's no different than saying, well Avery punches Varlamov every game so it's ok.


How about this, next time the Rangers win at the Verizon Center, they'll skate to center ice and salute the crowd like they do at MSG. See how happy you are then

Anonymous said...

Oh please. Let's nobody ever celebrate or be happy because someone's feelings might get hurt. Celebrating and mocking the crowd are two different things.

Man, all some of you need are the obnoxious suit.

Andrew said...

Unacceptable behavior? Are all Rangers fans this sensitive?

The equivalent of this behavior is slapping high fives with another teammate after a win. Last time i checked, that was ok. It wasnt to show up the fans or the team, its simply two kids having fun

Yes they do it every game, its done quietly without a glance into the stands, and its for their own enjoyment; but hey, this is the NHL and nothing in our Hockey Manual allows for this.

Jesus, pull out the tampon.

DMG said...

I think it's probably in the Rangers' best interest to sit Avery down or, at the very least, keep him on a short leash because I think it's unlikely the potential harm he does to the team is less than the benefit he gives them.

The Capitals don't seem to be the least bit rattled by the guy, and he seems to be getting frustrated because of it - if he plays Game Four, I imagine him putting New York down a man at least twice, but I don't see him drawing more than one penalty (and that I think is unlikely too).

Spec7ral said...


fat_daddyo said...

My oh my...Sending Colton Orr over? Sending a message is now verboten in the new NHL, hadn't you heard?

I respectfully disagree with DMG, above. I think the Rangers HAVE to dress Avery. They don't stand a chance without him. With him, they might pull out the win.

The Dark Ranger said...

We need to go out tomorrow night and kick some Russian ass -- Rozzy did a marvelous job containing 'Oh'the first away game!

Prior to the first game this series, there was talk of putting Avery on 'Oh' -- that would be an interesting distraction for a limited time. Shake it up...any line changes that Torts is showing in practice today will not be the lines we will see tomorrow night -- and I think we will see a very different team on the ice next game.

Benching Avery is smack talk. Ovechkin antics on our logo is the same as what Avery does with his mouth on the ice. The only difference is Avery directs his actions to his adversaries and gets penalty calls on the ice, while Ovechkin directs his actions to the fans and the NHL loves him. (We love him, but we MOSTLY hate him).

Let's Go Rangers! Let's Go Avery!


Pete said...

Personally, I don't care about the celebration on the ice. Quite frankly, if the Rangers didn't play like horseshit, they would have had nothing to celebrate. I'm all for things that add character to the game, that aren't necessarily part of the game...fighting, crashing the boards ofter a goal, and maybe even the occasional celebration/taunt. Though, celebrating a win on someone else's ice surface is obviously and intentionally disrespectful, and thus I'm all for Colton Orr going out there and making a case for why those guys should save their celebration for the locker room, or for Tracks Bar after the game, like normal people.

As for Avery, I don't see any reason why they should bench him. Sure, hitting Varlamov was a stupid thing to do...but being down 4-0 with 4 minutes left wasn't going to change, with or without Avery and the penalty kill. And to be honest, the first penalty was BS...he took a swing at the guy after the play, and the guy was in his face...he goaded Avery and Avery lost the gamble. And the interference penalty would have made a lot more sense if the puck WASN'T right there while Sean was. Even if you think all 4 penalties were good calls on utterly selfish play by Avery, he also made some great plays and clean hits. I say let him play but remind him that the refs are just itching to call him for any infraction, so, he should play a game closer to those that he's been playing since his return.

More importantly, I hope Torts reminds the "superstars" of this team to actually show up tomorrow.

Scotty Hockey said...

Sure, it may be verboten to send messages, but if you lose Colton Orr for a game, so what? Aaron Voros can't suck that badly in the three minutes of time he will have to fill in.

And jumping up and chest bumping like they are in the NBA AT CENTER ICE is bush league. It isn't high fiving, it isn't congratulating your goalie, it is grandstanding. They waited for everyone else to get off the ice and went right where all of us would see them. There was no innocence in it - even the classless human garbage that is DP and the Isles didn't pull that stuff.

I didn't say a word when OV went nuts jumping up and down after each of the goals, but the postgame 'celebration' was taking it too far. It ranks up there with his mocking Mike McKenna and the Bolts with his hot stick Chad OchoCinco act. Even Terrell Owens got hammered for his celebration on the Dallas star ...

Jim said...

Caps fans certainly do a lot more web surfing after they win....they seem to be everywhere today.

Ben said...

Scotty, yes they went to center ice. it probably could've been done at a different spot on the ice, but it wasn't. the fact is, almost the whole crowd was gone so it's not like the buzzer ended and they went and showed up the rangers and their fans.

if the rangers feel like they need to send a message with that, don't be pissed when Brash goes hard to the net and bumps Hank a few times...

Unknown said...
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Pete said...

Like I said, I don't care about the celebration. For me, it just adds more depth to the game, in this case, depth=onus to beat them...but, anyone who makes the argument that, because it happened when almost no one could see, it couldn't/shouldn't be considered offensive or as a slap in the face to the rangers and their fans...those people are delusional.

Torts get's pissed off when people walk over the logo in the locker room. I wonder if he will respond to this in any way.

Pete said...

Oh, and Brash...hands down, biggest goon in the game. He has no place being on any team because he's not out there to play hockey...he's out there for the ice-capades. On top of which, I believe he wants to hurt people too. He's a thug. He should be forced to join Simon in obscurity.

Anonymous said...

very good reason that DP never pulled that stunt. his team has not won a single playoff series since 1993. long may that streak live


Ben said...

Pete - no, Brash will never be confused with a top-notch hockey player, but he plays his role to a 'T'. he doesn't just run around and punch people in the head, he is actually an effective 4th liner. he crashes the net, bangs bodies on the boards and gets under the opponents skin.

he's basically a slower colton orr...but his hands are heavier!