First it was Devils’ star sniper Ilya Kovalchuk.
First came the infamous Avery \”stick screen\”on Devils’ goalie Martin Brodeur which led to a goal back in the first round of the 2008 playoffs. With his back to the play, he swayed his arms and stick back and forth to block Brodeur’s vision. Marty wasn’t happy. He didn’t shake hands with Avery after the Devs were ousted.
Then came Kovalchuk.
He managed to get the winger so riled up with his Mindspeak that he was ready to fight … twice (and that’s not counting his time in Atlanta) and in a preaseason match this past September no less. Kovy’s zip it rant from the bench got him into some heat with those who claimed it may have been a “throat slash” sign back to his favorite pal in blue.(Clearly not a slash. Just a mad man.)
Avery’s latest casualty: James Wisniewski of the New York Islanders. The Rangers may have lost 6-4 this afternoon, but the Isles may–and should– lose their defenseman for a few games if the league decides to suspend him after his obscene gesture directed at Avery. He should have just blown him off.
The Avery rule is simple: (and I’m not talking about the one the NHL offically instituted after his Devilish antics on Marty)Distract. Distract. And then distract some more until you get under the guy’s skin. Throw in an agressive forecheck and crash the net.
Getting the puck to the back of the net every now and then and making some slick passes is always a plus and frankly, what the Rangers really hope for if they’re going to be serious contenders this season.
He had two assists against the Sabres on Saturday and almost got a goal against the Isles. Last season he had 31 points with 20 assists. On the minus side, he racked up some serious penalty minutes with 160. When he’s got his game face on and does more than just “talk the talk,” he’s at his best.
Sure, the NYR vs. NYI and Devils were always fun to watch. But since Avery’s been in town, the storylines have become far more interesting.
Love him. Hate him. Or love to hate him. Either way, there’s a method to his madness.
Quote of the day from ESPN New York:
“It’s pretty obvious what the guy was doing,” Avery said of Wisniewski, “but I’m sure nothing will happen to him because nothing ever happens. It’s interesting, he’d get a warning for something like that.
“Can you imagine if I did that? They sent me to rehab the last time I did something. It’s crazy.”
Post your favorite or hated Avery moments.
About the Author
Written by Margaret DeJesus
I'm a recent college graduate looking for a dream job covering hockey. I've been watching the New York Rangers since my grade school days of VHS and Gordon Bombay's "ducks fly together" speech. While studying journalism at Boston University (COM '10), I wrote for the Daily Free Press, the student newspaper. I worked two summers at the Staten Island Advance, my hometown newspaper, writing city news and features. I've also written CD reviews for Music-Reviewer.com. One of my favorite gigs was interning for hockey analyst extraordinaire Stan Fischler covering the Boston Bruins and attending all their home games in the 2009-2010 season. (Yes, including the crushing defeat against the Flyers in the Eastern Conference playoffs.)