Sean Avery is one of the most popular players on the Rangers. He’s definitely not well liked because his on ice skill because he is by far not the most talented person on the team. Avery is well liked among the fans because he goes hard, draws penalties, and really annoys the opposing team and it’s fans. There was a big outcry when Avery was sent down to the Whale before the start of the season by the Rangers fan base. I have to say; I’ve never seen such debate over a Rangers player judging whether or not he’s useful by Rangers fans. At first I was on the fence about Avery because he was battling Erik Christensen for the final spot on the team and I figured that at least Christensen could score a few more goals than Avery. I was ready to give up on Avery because he wasn’t doing what he was supposed to do, and that’s agitate opponents. But then he was called up from the Whale and boy did he make upper management and the fans happy.
Read more to see how he has made the most of his opportunity after being recalled from the AHL.
Sean has since played 5 games since being called up but his first 3 he did not make his presence felt. Other than the fans chanting “Avery!” when he touched the puck and his fight in Ottawa, you wouldn’t have noticed he was out there. I began to feel that maybe we should send him back down to make some cap space because really anyone on our farm team could have done what he did in those games. Then he scored “The Goal”. Avery took the puck off the boards and got passed a Hurricanes defenseman Bryan Allen, and roofed the puck past Cam Ward. It was something you would have expected to see from Marian Gaborik but not Sean Avery. In that game he also managed to draw two lazy penalties from the Canes because of his hard work keeping possession of the puck. Against the Islanders he managed to find the back of the net again and had a fight with Matt Martin. Even coach Tortorella took notice and put him out one the ice with the Rangers leading by one with less than four minutes to go. Simply put, Sean Avery was doing things that help teams win hockey games.
I loved the Sean Avery from 06′-08′. He was playing truly the best hockey of his career then by providing good secondary scoring for the Rangers and getting under players skin consistently. Two playoffs series from this time period also stick out in my mind. The first was against the Thrashers in 07′ when he made Ilya Kovalchuk so upset he literally could not think about the game at all. He made Kovalchuk look like a 10 year old who didn’t get a birthday present. Then in 08′ against the Devils in the infamous playoff series using his new “screening tactics”. This time though he didn’t just drive one player insane, he drove an entire team insane.
When Avery was playing his best hockey he played with thaa mentality. My hockey coach described it perfectly. He said, “Sean Avery goes after the puck like he wants to send the player to the hospital.” This was coming from an Islander fan who hates the Rangers yet was praising Avery for how hard he plays. But by no means does Sean Avery ever intend to injure somebody, as he has not displayed intent to injure.
Sean Avery lost that mentality when the Rangers got him back from Dallas on re-entry waivers. Everyone saw it. He wasn’t forechecking hard, he was taking ridiculous penalties, and he wasn’t scoring. Maybe sending Avery down to the Whale made him come to the realization that this could be his last shot at the NHL and now he’s making the most out of being recalled. No one knows why Avery is back to being the player he once was, but all Rangers fans are happy he is back. Whether he can keep this up consistently remains to be seen but there is no reason why he cannot bring the same intensity every night. All in all, Sean Avery is a player on this team that has a role and right now he is filling that role.
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