OK, here’s a quick wrap-up on tonight’s game. Of course, it’s all Sean Avery, all the time.
Yes, Avery’s interview was hysterical at times, but it was also just plain good. Here’s some snippets of what he said:
*On playing in the Garden:* Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a passionate building Ã¢â‚¬â€ a crazy building Ã¢â‚¬â€ to play in. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m just happy that their enjoying what IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m bringing to the team by playing hard.Ã¢â‚¬?
*On Darcy Tucker:* “Darcy’s always been a whiner. You say you don’t like his hair…so maybe that’s it.”
*On Jagr saying Avery had been the biggest factor in the team’s turnaround:* “I just come in and play hard. I think Jags is exaggerating a little bit. I think Hank’s played well, a lot of guys have played well. Shanny coming back has really helped us. I just try and play my game every night.
*On New York vs. L.A.:* “People care. That’s probably the biggest thing. We had a good core of fans in L.A., but these fans here they’re bleeding Blue and that’s been a big motivation factor and getting us ready to play a game. We knew coming back they’d be loud and we appreciated it for sure.”
Also, more great stuff on Avery from Jagr and Renney.
*Jagr:* “I read (somewhere) that players voted him the most overrated, but I think he’s the most underrated.”
AND…”He’s just playing great. He’s been the difference, no doubt about it.”
*Renney:* Ã¢â‚¬Å“HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been able to elevate the passion-meter within some of our players. Not that it wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t there in the first place, but heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s certainly been a catalyst for it.Ã¢â‚¬?
Obviously, in addition to the spreading of man-love toward Sean Avery, the Rangers have themselves in almost ideal position. They will clinch a berth with a win over the Islanders on Tuesday and, if some other things break right, can knock the Islanders out.
Right now, it looks like Carolina, Toronto and Montreal will vie for the eighth and final spot, and that Tampa Bay and the Rangers will fight for sixth. And as you all know, a sixth-place finish helps avoid Buffalo/Ottawa and Pittsburgh/New Jersey and would net a first-round series against Atlanta.
OK, I’ll be back tomorrow. Enjoy…