Just a few thoughts:
1) It is remarkable how Sean Avery can take over a game, but he did it again. And this is prime reason No. 1 why the coach needs to find a way to get him to play exactly like that, and if he goes over the line once in a while, so be it. Live with it.
2) That was one of the worst non-calls I’ve ever seen on Clarkson. How he doesn’t get a third-man in is bonkers. And if one of the refs actually told Avery that he got the misconduct because he went after a superstar, that ref ought to be suspended.
3) Speaking of suspended, MSG cameras cut away from the Avery-Kovalchuk discussion between the benches just as it looked as if Kovalchuk was going to give him the throat-slash gesture. I am not saying he did, because we couldn’t see it. But if he did, and I’m sure there’s footage, then he ought to be suspended as was Nick Boynton for doing the same thing this week.
4) Ruslan Fedotenko made his first significant case to stay. And we already know that John Tortorella has a history with him and likes him or he wouldn’t be here. But, to me, if he makes it, well, who doesn’t? Because overall, he’s another one of those players of which the Rangers already have enough, if not too many. Maybe he’s better than somebody else, a Prospal or a Christensen? I don’t know. I do know there are too many locks to make the team on the wings already.
5) Garnet Exelby didn’t distinguish himself in his debut. On that one alley-oop pass, he was so flat footed that he tried to reach straight up and knock the puck out of the air. In other words, to make as bad a last-ditch attempt as you could. In other words, as badly beaten as you could be. I don’t think he’s making it.
6) I was very surprised how anti-Ranger Chico Resch was, especially in a telecast he had to know was being watched by Rangers fans. He couldn’t explain why Avery had to fight David Clarkson, but LeBlond didn’t have to fight Boogaard. And he complained the way they celebrated the OT goal as if they’d won a playoff series, he said. I thought Joe Micheletti was going to tell him to shut up at one point.
7) Boogaard really does prevent fights and he will prevent opponents’ bigger guys from doing stupid things to a degree. LeBlond wanted no part of him. Boogaard’s like Joey Kocur in that regard. But I still doubt it will have any effect on the Carcillos of the world, who simply won’t fight him.
8) Lundqvist played in his first game. That’s about the best I could say about his performance.
Thirteen days until Opening Night.
13: A-Rod (who passed Sammy Sosa; gee what do they have in common?). Curt Blefary.
13: Dan Marino.
13: Sergei Nemchinov, Valeri Kamensky.
Don’t forget, it’s a 5 p.m. start tonight.