Where you Flyers fans/Avery haters at now? After getting sat last game, Avery started and turned in perhaps his greatest game ever. (Maybe Torts knows what he’s doing after all…. haha.) 2 goals, 2 drawn penalties, 1 penalty taken (and a borderline one at that; at least it took Pronger off as well), and 1 hit post negating a hat trick. And lots self-control. It was the game Avery is designed to play, and why two teams (Dallas still is on the hook for half his salary) are paying him millions. The best part is that his actions — not his antics — completely unnerved the Flyers. The goal for him now is to replicate this energy level and style of play for the remaining 14 games. If he does, he’ll have the chance to play that way in the playoffs too.
Two other points:
(1) I now agree with our Flyer friends — Hartnell can’t stay on his feet. Almost comical to watch. What was not funny was his play away from the puck against a host of players, most notably Staal. About 90 feet from the action he skated by and tried to cross-check Staal. Nothing overly dangerous, just unnecessary, hateful, and potentially injury-causing (mostly cause Staal was not really looking, since the action was nowhere near him). This is the exact type of act Avery gets ostracizedfor. The refs need to start looking at Hartnell as closely as they do Sean.
(2) The only thing missing from the game was a Carcillo-Shelley fight. Strangely, it didn’t even come close to happening. Whatever you think about Gaborik’s role in the last fight, you’d think the Rangers would stand up for him. Especially once the game was essentially over. There was a random Dubinsky-Richards fight (well, drubbing by Dubinsky). Maybe that was the payback plan. If not, then the absence of the main event was a little strange.