Return of Avery provides a glimmer of hope for Rangers


With the Rangers losers of seven of their last nine, the Sean Avery factor will again be put to the test tonight against the Eastern Conference-leading Senators.

The left wing, originally scheduled to return no sooner than the day after Christmas, said his wrist made significant progress in the last few days, and was deemed fit to play tonight against Ottawa.

“The bottom line is he can’t do any damage to it, he can’t hurt himself at all, so as long as it’s not prohibitive from a pain perspective, which it isn’t, (he’s fine),” Tom Renney said.

Avery’s impact on the Rangers when he’s in the lineup has been well documented, dating back to his arrival last season but also this year in between his shoulder and wrist injuries, when the Rangers went 8-3-1 and surged into first place. Now with the team again struggling, he’ll be counted on to provide an immediate lift.

Meanwhile, Renney originally said Petr Prucha would be a scratch to make room for Avery. But while Prucha was lingering on the ice after the morning skate, he was called off the ice by the coach, which could suggest the coach is contemplating putting him back in.
In other news:

<li>Paul Mara is the other healthy scratch tonight, which means Marek Malik goes back in, only now most likely alongside Jason Strudwick. With those two together, the Michal Rozsival-Marc Staal pairing remains intact.

<li>Marcel Hossa has also been slow to recover from the flu, so he’s out as well. Nigel Dawes is still with the team, and assuming that Prucha remains a scratch, Dawes will probably skate on a third line with Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan. Renney said the first line and fourth line will definitely remain intact.

More from the Garden later…

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  1. Sam when is Renney going to figure out they are not playing tough enough? He has Mara playing like a girl, a leash on Orr, he’d like to muzzle Avery, refuses to get Prucha to use his stick, on & on. This is not a gentlemen’s game, and shouldn’t be led as one. Nice guys finish last.

  2. Lets not forget it was against this team that Avery was hurt (by Neil) and missed his first series of games this season. I would think that is still lingering… and Avery will probably be targeted…maybe messing his hand up in a fight.

    I’d keep him out until next game.

    But then again… I’m just a psychic…what do I know?
    Lets Go Rangers!!!

  3. Jagr should be riding the pine for a game after moping to the bench for a change while Colorado is scoring the winning goal. Outside of molesting collies that’s about the most inexcusable behavior for a captain a hockey team I can think of. And it’s a wonder why the rest of the team looks mired in a similar malaise?

    Can’t complain about Mara getting a view from the rafters after a horrific turnover cost the team a goal against Colorado though. Unfortunately I think Malik in the lineup makes them even softer.

  4. jay, wathc the game more closely, it was struwick who turned the puck over…mara was trying to stop the pass by laying down in front of the net…

  5. This is a repost, but it was at the end of the last update.

    December 23rd, 2007 at 12:13 pm

    I am all for not winning the cup this year if it means not trading certain people away. You have to think long term. This is going to be Gomez and Drury’s team in the future. It is not right now. I am giving Drury a pass for up to this point. Gomez has been our best player the last month and a half. They tried to put a team together to win a cup this year and it doesn’t look like that is going to happen. But patience is the key here. I want a team that is going to be competitive for years to come. Jagr, Shanny, Straka; all gone after this year, at least I think so. This team can build from within. Go after a Hossa or that type of first line player and maybe one stud defenseman. Don’t get me wrong, Staal is going to be that player, but he is not yet. You don’t make quick fixes right now and risk fu**ing things up for the future unless you know what you are getting in return is going to make your team better for sure. Like if you are going to get a Ovechkin or Lecavalier then you pull the trigger and pull it fast and shoot every other team between the eyes. But if you are doing it just to shake up a team that should be first in the league in scoring it just won’t make a difference. I want this team to win just as bad as the next guy. When they lose it honestly puts me in the worst mood, but I don’t want to go back to our old ways. I truly believe that Drury and Gomez will both work out for us, and in the long term it was the right thing to do. I know it doesn’t look that way now, but I really think we will see it down the road for years. As for Prucha, he needs to give someone the a real cheap shot. And I mean a real cheap shot, the next time some comes in for him. I am not saying for no reason. But the next time someone comes in hight on him, I want to see him put the butt of his stick between their eyes. And yes, I am saying with intent to injure. The guy takes it and takes it every night. There comes a point when enough is enough. Yeah he needs to keep his head up more often, but the kid needs to protect himself.

  6. nasty the nhl also has to protect Prucha, plenty of those shots have been to the head. I have no problem with Prucha taking a suspension, but colon would probably give him 25 games because he’s a NYR.

  7. Yeah man, I agree with you on that one. But enough is enough. It is time for something to be done. If Neil takes a cheap shot on him tonight or goes up high, he MUST pay at any cost. Even if it costs us the game.

  8. cliff it doesn’t look like renney really wants to play that game. Why would he put Malik in, slow & soft, over Mara? What’s Avery going to do if he has to fight with a repaired wrist? Orr continue to strut around the ice like he’s the son of Bobby. This TEAM is not nearly tough enough, or at least surely are told to play that way. Poor babies might be out of position if they hit somebody. Give the puck handler a free ride & a poke check. What a bad idea to have a team play like it’s flag football.

  9. Nasty – Hossa from Atl is not the answer. Also we’re still quite a ways from cup contention. Our kid forwards are way overrated by many of our fanbase. And some like Prucha are not really kids anymore.

  10. The Rangers have a fine collection of 2nd-4th line young forwards. First? Maybe Anisimov or Cherepanov but THAT’s the place to get an FA, otherwise, the organization is fine.

  11. the Chi. blackhawks beat ottawa last night in Ott. but I suppose it is asking too much too expect a win over the Sens by the Strangers, with the big mope JJ, captain Pout, mis-leading them to mediocrity.

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