After talking it over with a few supposed experts, I guess the Avery goal was nothing more than a goofy bouce. Johan Hedberg did what every other goalie would do in that situation, which is to try to get a jump on the puck as it wheeled around the boards.
Naturally, this is important for at least two reasons:
1. It may well be the only goal of the game.
2. Hedberg is otherwise standing on his head, making Bob Hartley’s bold move appear prescient.
The Thrashers, meanwhile, have nine, which means that for all their efforts to knock the Rangers off their game, they’re not succeeding in getting them to cough up the puck.