Full disclosure, I’m not crazy about focusing on the designated matinee idol. So when NBC put a camera on Sean Avery and called it the “Star Cam,” well, let’s just say Avery would have had to do a lot in order to make me want to write about him.
He did it.
Two goals, a couple skirmishes and then Flyers coach John Stevens says this about him.
“We got emotional and used it in the wrong way there,” Stevens said. “I think (Avery’s) probation period is over and now he’s back up to his old antics and we got sucked in to be quite honest with you. We started worrying about him instead of playing the games. He draws your physical attention and allows their skilled people to play and then we play the whole game shorthanded.”
The Rangers scored on three of those power plays—final score 4-1. Andrew Alberts got a penalty for charging Avery in the third period. So much for letting the skill players take over, Avery scored two of the goals himself while playing on a line with Scott Gomez and Nikolai Zherdev.
“He gets the puck, five guys on their team want to kill him,” Scott Gomez said.
Avery said he felt like the Rangers were starting to realize how good they can be, and why he is playing better now than when he first got to New York. Avery has scored in the last three games, and has five points (four goals and an assist) in the last five games.
“I think it has to do with my mindset and where my head is more than anything,” Avery said. “We talked about, after the first couple of games, how I was just so nervous and kind of playing a little too hard. So I was just trying to slow it down and think of the plays and where they are going to end up and try and anticipate it.”
Then he talked about what it’s like to be coached by John Tortorella.
“I think he has been outstanding in trying to keep that concentration but it has to be all of the time,” Tortorella said. “We don’t want any cracks. We want to keep him concentrated on what he has to do.”
*Three Ranger goals were on the power play.
*Rangers are 36-26-8 overall.
*Next game is Tuesday in Montreal.
*I asked Henrik Lundqvist about the stomach thing, and he is still taking medicine for it but says he feels better, as long as he doesn’t eat any meat. Uh, paging Dr. House, we need a diagnosis…
*The call on Dan Girardi (2 minutes instigating, 5 for fighting and 10 for misconduct) was because he went after Mike Richards in retaliation for a hard but legal hit on Zherdev. That’s a new rule, and Tortorella responded to it saying, “I’m more concerned about the hockey club then how the games are going to be called.”
Here’s a link to the official box score.
Lastly, I got my official season credential today! I’m legit!
Don’t forget, you can win $100 million all you have to do is pick a perfect NCAA bracket. It’s free to join, and you can click here for registration info. A bunch of us from The Journal News and LoHud.com will be making picks as well—including Carp, Pete Abraham, Kevin Devaney Jr., Sam Borden and Josh Thomson.