Sean Avery was benched for the Rangers game two Fridays ago against Atlanta. He followed that with a two goal dominant performance against Philadelphia and a goal and seventeen penalty minutes in a loss to Montreal.
Last night Avery had an assist, five hits, and two takeaways in just over 16 minutes. He also drew the last four penalties that the Islanders took.
After the game, Rangers coach John Tortorella was praising Avery:
“The past couple of weeks he has been playing well,” Tortorella said. “He has kept his discipline but also has been physical, has been around the puck and has drawn a lot of penalties for us. That has been going on for a couple of weeks.”
Captain Chris Drury and Michael Del Zotto also tossed in praise for the “grate one”
“Just the energy he brings gives us a big lift,” Del Zotto said of Avery. “Everything he does is huge. He’s contributing offensively, which is big for us, too. He’s been a huge factor for us, that’s for sure.”
“When he’s agitating the opponent, it’s a huge boost for our team,” Drury said. “He’s ready to be a big player. He does things other than agitate.”
…Avery is playing the way he needs to and doing it at the exact moment that the Rangers need him to. Well, that moment was really two weeks ago but now is better than never. He hasn’t played up to his previous installments as a Ranger, which no matter how you feel about Avery, has been disappointing. At his best he is one of the Rangers most effective players and that is what he has to continue to be for them over these last nine games.