NY Daily News: With 3-1 series lead over Capitals, Rangers may tell Avery to take seat
Scratching Avery for Friday night’s Game 5 – in which the Rangers can finish off the Capitals and move on to Boston for Round 2 – is a longshot, but John Tortorella wouldn’t rule it out Thursday when asked point-blank. Avery has jeopardized the Rangers’ season by putting them shorthanded six times in the two games at the Garden this week, including twice with indefensible offensive-zone, post-whistle penalties in the final 10 minutes of Game 4, with the Rangers clinging to a one-goal lead.
Newsday:Is Avery hurting Rangers more than helping them?
Has Avery devolved into more of a detriment than a dividend? That was the debate in Rangerland Thursday after The Grate One irritated his coach more than the Capitals.
In the first round against the Devils last season, Avery scored three goals, added two assists and compiled just six penalty minutes in a series the Rangers captured 4-1.
This postseason, Avery has played 16:30 per game in the four games against the Caps and has no points and 10 shots, is a minus-1 and has collected 24 minutes in penalties.
To his devotees, Avery’s contributions aren’t measured by stats. To his detractors, Game 4 served as evidence that his emotions aren’t yet fully controlled.
NY Post: NO EXCUSE FOR SEAN’S MELTDOWN
Avery has no excuse for his third-period meltdown in Wednesday’s Game 4 because there is no excuse for it. He has no excuse for the whipsaw nonsense on the icing touch-up against Milan Jurcina at 10:21 and he has no excuse for the high stick with which he raked Brian Pothier at 16:54 following a collision in the offensive zone.
In addition to nearly costing his team a playoff game, Avery has given license to everyone associated with hockey to laugh at him, to laugh at Glen Sather, to laugh at the Rangers organization; to laugh hysterically while clucking, “We told you so.”
They’ve all been waiting for Avery to self-destruct; waiting with glee that I find particularly distasteful, given the slack that’s given to stick-swingers and head-hunters and guys who hit from behind with intent to injure. Those guys do their time and are welcomed back into NHL society as members in good standing.
NY Times: Rangers’ Upper Hand Could Be Undone by a Wild Card
After arriving in New York, Avery kept his anger in check through the end of the regular season, drawing more penalties than he was called for. He repeatedly earned praise from Tortorella for “playing within himself,” although Tortorella also said that the team was “watching Sean closely.” Avery talked frequently to reporters in the dressing room after games, his comments always closely monitored by a Rangers staff member.
Something seemed to change in a 1-0 loss at Boston on April 4. During a television timeout late in the game, Avery nonchalantly clipped Bruins goalie Tim Thomas in the back of the head with his stick, then feigned surprise when he was whistled down by the referee.