And if this hockey thing doesn’t work out…

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It is reaching a point where one can’t miss a practice or morning skate because you don’t know what adventures Sean Avery may be up to.

Today there was this: while working out with strength and conditioning coach Reg Grant, Avery walks out and announces he will be singing with Jim Dolan’s band at the annual Marc Lustgarten Foundation benefit event for pancreatic cancer research at B.B. King’s in midtown.

“What are you going to do?” Avery said. “The boss asked me to do it.”

Avery even produced the lyrics sheet to the song, which will be played to the tune of “Not Fade Away” (of Rolling Stones and Grateful Dead fame). Among the highlights:

“They say I’m mean.
I’m just playing for my team.
Gotta win the game at any price, at any price”

There was more, but I didn’t have time to write it all down. Avery acknowledged that he’s been told he has to memorize the entire song, and yes, it may require a certain amount of liquid courage. But since he goes on at 11, he’s also not leaving himself much time.

Believe it or not, he actually has to behave himself while attending the game.

In other news:

  • Paul Mara is still out so you can expect the same lineup tonight against the Leafs. Tom Renney said Mara was more or less fit to play, so the scratch tonight is a coach’s decision. Tomorrow in Atlanta remains a possibility, however.
  • Today was an optional skate, so there was only a skeleton crew on the ice. And it again marked the return of Chad Killam, the former Manhattanville College goalie who has been called on to fill the other net when Henrik Lundqvist is absent. “My legs are burning a bit,” Killam said afterward.
  • As for Lundqvist, don’t be surprised if you see him playing back-to-back games tonight and tomorrow in Atlanta. Renney sounded like that’s where he was leaning. And you figured if you were going to see Stephen Valiquette, you’d see him tonight against the Leafs, whom he’s already had success against.
  • It is a great day for Zipay and myself. You may recall my co-owner and I made the bold move during our fantasy draft to snag the supposedly retiring Scott Niedermayer with a late-round pick (we also drafted Peter Forsberg, but that’s another story). Now comes “news that Niedermayer is coming back to the Ducks”:http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/news;_ylt=AhDrEsPKbBNU9nUrLkroXFl7vLYF?slug=ap-ducks-niedermayer&prov=ap&type=lgns. Apparently our vision paid off. I’d like to tell you this involved a covert trip to California where we convinced the defenseman to make another run at it. In reality, it merely involved me picking up my paper this morning and saying, “Hey, Scott Niedermayer is coming back.” Either way, Zipay and I are ecstatic.
  • Speaking of the paper, “my story today looks at Brandon Dubinsky”:http://www.thejournalnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071206/SPORTS01/712060425 trying to get past a personal low point game against the Canes.

    More later…

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    34 Comments

    1. They should play Valli in one of these games. I think we’ve seen that, although he’s awesome and thrives on workload, Hank is still human and gets tired. A few soft goals lately, too, which seems out of character and may point to a wee bit of fatigue. Or not.

      Richard,
      Per last post, i suspect you’re right about Roger’s juicing…been hearing that for years.

    2. Hank’s definitely falling down to earth lately. I don’t know whether he needs MORE time, or less, though. Goaltenders are a mystery that nobody can really understand.

      Earlier in the season Hank stops goals 1 and 2 against the Canes. That game definitely wasn’t his fault, but hopefully the good that comes from it is that the Rangers start truly realizing that he’s not going to single-handedly get them points anymore.

    3. Hank is allowed a couple of questionable goals every now and then. I think he’s earned that. That being said I would sit him tomorrow against Atlanta so he rested for the devils on Sunday. That Devils winning streak must be stopped.

    4. Rangers will win tonight 3-1. Martin Straka will set up all three Rangers goals` in the middle period after trailing after the first one when the puck was inadvertenly pushed in his own net by Henrik Lundqvist…

      Lundqvist will stop a penalty shot by Alexej Ponikarovsky in the final stanza….

    5. “Hank is allowed a couple of questionable goals every now and then. I think he’s earned that.”

      I don’t. He’s bailed us out some nights, sure. What has he won? If it all ended today, he’s hardly a ‘blip’ on the radar.

      Don’t get me wrong, we absolutely need him. And need him to be sharp. But until his name’s on the cup, he hasn’t earned anything.

    6. Earlier in the season Lundqvist stops the 2nd goal? Come on, it went in off a defenseman’s skate. As far as the first goal, I’ll never fault the goalie when there’s not one, but two giveaways in the slot. Sorry, goal #1 is on Dubinsky, 100000%.

    7. Today I checked the stats and the Rangers leading the league with 55 goals-against with the Devils and Brodeur second with 66 and Tim Thomas and the Bruins with 68 after roughly one third of the regular season…

      Hank is by far the best one right now….

    8. Beer Me!, I think he’s earned it with 2 outstanding vezina trophy nominated seasons where he has carried the team on his back and won games on his own. If he let’s in a bad goal or 2 every 20 games or so I’m going to let it slide.

    9. Nabokov and the Sharks with 58 followed by Luongo of the Canucks and Hasek by the Wings with 64 in the West…

      Hank is still the overall leader….

    10. Doodie Machetto on

      redeye, you need to give GAA, not totals. teams have played different amounts of games this season.

    11. 1 Chris Osgood DET 16 369 28 1.79 2 Henrik Lundqvist NYR 25 662 48 1.91 14 10 1 614 .927 4 0 0 2 1,505:59
      3 Pascal Leclaire CBJ 20 509 35 1.92 10 5 2 474 .931 6 0 1 2 1,095:24
      4 Evgeni Nabokov SJS 26 614 52 2.01 14 8 4 562 .915 3 0 1 0 1,552:16
      5 Timothy Jr. Thomas BOS 20 674 43 2.14 10 7 2 631 .936 0 0 0 2 1,204:43
      6 Roberto Luongo VAN 25 685 53 2.17 13 10 2 632 .923 4 0 2 0 1,466:02
      7 Manny Legace STL 19 500 41 2.22 11 6 1 459 .918 1 0 0 2 1,107:51
      8 Niklas Backstrom MIN 19 492 42 2.26 12 5 1 450 .915 2 0 0 0 1,113:34
      9 Martin Brodeur NJD 24 609 55 2.31 13 10 1 554 .910 2 0 1 2 1,428:28
      10 Cristobal Huet MTL 16 514 38 2.35 7 6 3 476 .926 1 0 1 0 969:30
      11 Dany Sabourin PIT 11 254 22 2.38 4 4 1 232 .913 1 0 0 0 554:38
      12 Mike Smith DAL 10 231 21 2.40 6 4 0 210 .909 1 0 0 2 526:23
      13 Mathieu Garon EDM 13 324 28 2.41 7 4 0 296 .914 2 0 0 2 697:07
      14 Rick Dipietro NYI 24 610 56 2.42 12 9 2 554 .908 2 0 2 6 1,387:42
      15 Marty Turco DAL 20 521 48 2.47 9 6 3 473 .908 1 0 2 4 1,166:47
      16 Ilja Bryzgalov PHX 18 453 39 2.49 7 7 1 414 .914 1 0 0 0 938:21
      17 Martin Gerber OTT 19 558 45 2.50 13 4 1 513 .919 1 0 0 2 1,078:08
      18 Jean-Sebastien Giguere ANA 20 498 47 2.55 10 8 2 451 .906 0 0 0 2 1,107:34
      19 Cam Ward CAR 21 601 52 2.56 13 6 2 549 .913 2 0 0 0 1,221:12
      20 Jason LaBarbera LAK 18 512 43 2.56 6 9 1 469 .916 1 0 0 0 1,007:07
      21 Fredrik Norrena CBJ 12 283 26 2.58 3 5 3 257 .908 0 0 1 0 605:26
      22 Ryan Miller BUF 22 632 57 2.59 10 11 1 575 .910 1 0 1 2 1,323:21
      23 Martin Biron PHI 22 701 54 2.63 12 7 2 647 .923 2 0 1 4 1,231:09
      24 Josh Harding MIN 10 266 23 2.68 3 5 1 243 .914 1 0 0 0 514:38
      25 Nikolai Khabibulin CHI 19 523 50 2.72 10 7 2 473 .904 0 0 2 0 1,102:10
      26 Dominik Hasek DET 12 244 32 2.74 6 5 1 212 .869 0 0 1 6 700:55
      27 Johan Holmqvist TBL 24 606 64 2.78 12 9 2 542 .894 0 0 0 0 1,380:06
      28 Tomas Vokoun FLA 24 753 65 2.79 12 11 0 688 .914 1 0 2 0 1,395:51
      29 Olaf Kolzig WSH 20 560 55 2.81 7 12 1 505 .902 1 0 0 6 1,174:34
      30 Miikka Kiprusoff CGY 27 668 76 2.92

    12. Sam when is the show? If anyone has never been to BB KING it’s a great place with great sound.

    13. If you rephrase it to say “you’ll let it slide” opposed to “he’s earned it” that’s a different story IMO. It’s not really worth debating, is it?

      And I certainly think that Hank has been the best goalie this year. I don’t think you’ll find too many KNOWLEDGEABLE hockey fans/writers to dispute that.

      Here’s something of relatively no importance…just a thought. Jags should have won the Hart Trophy with his (ranger) record breaking year 2 seasons ago. Had he won that, that would have automatically triggered his option year to kick in next season. Which we would be on the hook for 1/2 his salary(correct me if i’m wrong and it’s all of it). In hindsight, that was surely a blessing in disguise not winning that.

      Oh man – I’m so glad we’re playing tonight. 3 days off is too much!

    14. Avery is no dummy. Hanging out and becoming buddies with Dolan means a nice contract extention for an insane amount of money.

    15. beer me Lundqvist is the main reason the Rangers are no longer a laughinstock or did you forget 7 years of no playoffs?

    16. we need something from Prucha, hossa, and our 4th line..

      Again I think they should bring up Dawes and sit one of the 4th line guys preferable Hollwegg..

      the rangers cannot score!!!!!!!!!!!

    17. Doodie Machetto on

      graves, you have to give Jagr some credit for making the playoffs both years. Yeah, Hank has been huge, but in 05-06, it was Jagr carrying the team. In 06-07, Jagr was a force towards the end of the season and during the playoffs. I’m not saying Hank doesn’t deserve credit, but Jagr deserves a share of it also.

      This season has been all Hank. If we had 05-06 Jagr on this team, we would be 10 pts clear of 2nd place.

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