The Odd Couple


More praise was being thrown in the direction of Sean Avery today and not without reason:

Should the Rangers make the playoffs — and several games going on right now are helping them in that cause — many fingers will point to the Feb. 5 acquisition of Avery as a major reason why.

Yes, that’s all premature at this point, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves. But what I will point to as one of the more telling details of Avery’s impact is his unusual rapport with Jaromir Jagr.

We’ve discussed at times on this blog the cultural divide that may have existed within the Rangers dressing room this season, not to mention the inordinate influence that Jagr has over everyone else.

But I’ve also referred to Jagr’s often playful demeanor, both with people like me and his teammates. Many of you watching on TV or even in person might not always see that, and to be sure, Jagr’s on-ice body language makes him seem more aloof than he really is. But to hear the banter between Jagr and Avery today and on many occasions this season — most notably when Jagr referred to Avery as “Mario” after a particularly sharp game — is confirmation that the team’s captain has fully embraced Avery as a teammate.

And as Aaron Ward might attest, that’s kind of important.

Anyway, there’s a pretty good audio clip from today that captures Jagr ribbing Avery at the start of an interview today. I’ll try to throw it up here at some point, so stay tuned.

Also, I’ll have more on Avery in tomorrow’s paper and online…

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  1. ORR kicks Ying Yang on

    Avery’s flat out the man….You gotta love his great moments and quotes..Him calling DP and Brodeur whiners was just great. We dont have anyone like that on our team and theres no one like him in the league..There are agitaters but he is different..He’s the oly reason why i watched LAK games..also i liked kopitar but nonetheless…Im glad he’s here and i hope he stays for a while…I liked sykora lat year but unfortunetly he wasnt resigned………..BTW 6 – 1 BUF

  2. ORR kicks Ying Yang on

    Woops…make that 5 – 1…… there was a black thing on the 5 on my tv that made it look like 6…and hey i got free center ice…just wanted to let anyone know just incase they dont have it..if you have directTV they give you the rest of the season for free….wooo…lets go NYR

  3. czechthemout!!!!! on

    avery should be wearing an A on his sweater.things are breaking our way tonight,need to win bug time tomorrow.
    if we win tomorrow and sunday it might be enough to make the playoffs.we need the czechs to show up tomorrow.we need avery/cullen/callahan.we need to have malik and strudwick catch the flu.tyuts,lifiton tomorrow would be much better.we need dubinsky to come back and replace half a player in straka.we need shany to be shany tomorrow.and we need the king.oh yeah and we need renney to not f….k up the game with his in game coaching blunders.

  4. czechthemout!!!!! on

    sam-has their been any feed back on corey potter?i ve watched him play a dozen games or so this year and he seems to be a keeper to me.good skater,takes the body and can play the power play.he and lifiton have been the packs best dmen the second half of the year.

  5. Finally – 6-3 Buffalo. It’s a great pleasure to watch Icelanders coach right now :) Canes lost, Canadiens lost. Good.

  6. hockeymanrangers on

    I posted this on a earlier post but I think it derserves a repost.(is that a word “repost”) Has anyone seen this on the Hockey News website
    they interviewed like 280 players and they have Avery listed as the TOP most hated player. I think that’s funny, I don’t think he is that bad of guy, he is just doing his job. I also think he has matured a lot from back in his Kings days. I love what Avery does for us. Avery (I know your reading) don’t take this to heart we love your play here in NY. keep up the good work. RENNY MUST GO.

  7. LI JOE- No offense buddy, but Barnaby sucked, He didn’t bring positive energy, doesn’t have near the amount of skill as Avery.

  8. NYR1994 – I’m cool with your opinion but I still think Barnaby was very good as a Ranger (especially playing with Mess and Simon). I thought all along they needed a Barnaby type player and think Avery def fits the bill. I thought he brought positive energy to the team as well. Remember they did not have a goalie like Henrik (Richter by then was hurt or gone) when Barnaby played.

  9. Barnaby was a good scapper but never had the skill that Avery has. He had heart and played good in NY but he was replacable. Same with Simon (although I loved Simon in NY… good player but replaceable).

    The Mario reference… I don’t get it.

  10. Ahhh and I meant to say that as Ranger fans, we wanted the Canes to beat the Lightning because now we’re in 7th again (game in hand, yada yada yada).

  11. Since Sean Avery gets along so well with Jaromir Jagr you’ve got to wonder what Aaron Wards problem was.

  12. why don’t you ask the players in Washington and Pitt. who watched Jagr sulk and loaf and quit on their teams, and the fans who booed him out of town.

  13. onecupin67years on

    I saw the Highlights ? of the Islander -sabre game last night, -Dunham is awful,I cant believe the rangers actually had this guy.
    Avery seems to be the heart and soul type of player that NY had lacked since Graves .He plays every shift like its his last .And Sam your right about what goes on behind the scene amongst the players ,If Jagr likes Avery then that makes Avery
    acceptable amongst Jagr’s european clique .

  14. Onecup: I think it’s safe to say there were many fane(including myself) who were kicking the TV when then Dunham trade was announced. Definitly up there with some of the miserable deals the Rangers have made, even considering Kloucek hasn’t ammounted to anyting. To think, Zidlicky could be part of this team’s PP.

    Avery: defintely better than Barnaby was in NYC. I’d put him on par(but not as thugish)as Barnaby circa late 90s Sabres. My only concern with Avery is Todd Harvey syndrome. He’s not a big guy and seems to take a beating pretty often. It could catch up with him pretty quickly(somewhere around the age of 30). Otherwise, he looks pretty damn good from where I’m seated.

    Bob: I’ve got no questions about JJ’s pouting in his earlier career. However, players grow older and they grow up. Regarding Jagr, I have no doubt that this is the case. He looks and sounds like a more mature player these days.

  15. ORR kicks Ying Yang on

    I can care less what any body thinks about jagr..Ive been watching him since he was in PIT. I even watched Cap games to see him and i hated the rest of the team…It’s Jagr’s party..he can cry if he wants to..Fact is hes at least a 30 goal scorer every season, and hes underacheiving this year but hes still rackin’ up points and is up to 80 +….Im happy hes a ranger and hope he retires one…and should thank jagr for driving ward out of here…

    Also why isnt malik in front of the net on the PP…he deflect so many shots in his own net, you’d think he was a master of deflecting it in the oppostions net….Big game today..Lets go NYR..if we lose this we are in major trouble…….

  16. Jagr is the best player in the world..STILL!

    We need 3 out of 4 pts this weekend, though 4 out of 4 is possible. I think We should throw about 50 plus shots on Biron or Nittymaki, just to get that their defense chasing pucks. Tonight We have to pound them early and often. Tomorrow use all of our speedy players to get around the toronto frankensteins and pepper Raycroft.

    SAM: Great article about Avery in the paper.

  17. I will admit that when the Rangers acquired Avery, I thought he would be OK but spend a lot of time fighting and in the sin bin. I admit a bad rush to judgement. He quickly became a Ranger and I am glad he adapted so quickly and has been a huge help in the playoff push.

  18. a. ward was a dick plain and simple. ive met jagr before he is a very easy going down to earth person. he is very nice and maybe his initial shyness comes off as rude or aloof as sam put it. i cant imagine not getting along with him. great dude.

  19. bob says:
    “”why don’t you ask the players in Washington and Pitt. who watched Jagr sulk and loaf and quit on their teams, and the fans who booed him out of town.””

    Well, Jagr doesn’t do it here. Those days are over. Get over it. How many players have come to the Rangers in the past and stunk it up but became all stars on other teams? It happens.

  20. I think players like Avery should be the standard not the exception on the Rangers. Avery is what a hockey player is supposed to be. We look at him as special ingredient because our team is built wrong. In my opinion of course.

  21. Bob-obviously you haven’t followed Jagr’s career very care closely. I have for the last 11 years. He never deserved the bad reputation from what I saw. Fan and teammates in Pittsburgh loved him until Mario set him up to fail,then banished him to hockey hell in Washington. The Capitals were bad before he got there bad while he was there and they are still bad and they will stay bad as long as George McPhee is the GM. I spent 2 and ahalf horrible year trying to be a Caps fan. If you don’t like someone you’ll believe every bad thing you read. Avery had a bad reputation but he’s been great here,so maybe he was never as bad as he was made out to be. The way it looks all of Jagrs teammates her e like him and he likes them. Like Brett said A. Ward was a dick plain and simple.

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