The Avery Effect

March 12, 2010, by

“I know what’s been asked of me, so whenever I get my next opportunity that’s certainly the thing I’m going to have to do. I’m gonna keep that to myself.”

Ever since John Tortorella became head coach, Sean Avery hasn’t been himself. At his best, Avery is an agitator, who can chip in scoring. He can make plays, with his mouth and with his stick. For all his antics, he actually is a really good player.

But, we saw that good player under Tom Renney. Renney didn’t have a leash on Avery. He let him go. That’s part of the problem with Renney. Some said he was too soft. Not on Avery.

So, when Torts was brought in, we all thought he would bring accountability. And he has, to some degree. He benched Avery after his antics in Game 4 of the Washington series (I was at that game. It wasn’t that bad. And the Rangers won, so who cares? But I digress). He’s benching him after his recent bad play.

But, Avery hasn’t been himself. He’s not being as physical. He’s not chatting up the other players. And he’s not scoring. Watch this video:

While I still disagree with what Avery did, it serves a greater point. He was agitating the other team, and then he scored. That was a classic Avery shift (side note: I love when Drury sort of punches Avery, telling him to stop screen Brodeur like that. People say he’s an awful captain, but that’s what a captain does). When Avery was on that 5-on-3, he was in the front of the net, making things happen. He doesn’t do that anymore. And part of it is because of Torts.

I think Torts has been an okay coach for the Rangers. But, his odd way of reprimanding Avery for playing his game, has cost the Rangers points. Why do you think the Rangers have such a bad home record? When Avery is at his best, the crowd is fired up. The crowd hasn’t been fired up lately.

We’ll see what this Avery benching does, to the team and to Sean. If it’s just one game, how will Avery respond? Will he come back as his self? Or will he try to impress Torts, and play a conservative game? So much for Safe is Death.

Categories : Analysis

One comment

  1. Jen9400 says:

    Obviously we all realize that Sean has made some changes in life after what happened to him in Dallas almost killed his entire career and for the most part his changes have made a positive difference for him. However, it is obvious that Torts has no idea how to use Avery to his full potential. First of all, he never has him on a decent line. Second he only averages about 10 -12 minutes of ice time a night. He NEVER once tried to use him in OT and our OT record is so wonderful that the guy can’t have a try at it right? Against the Devils, the second Sean hit the ice he was in Kovalchuk’s face again right where he belonged. he was talking to Leblond, he had Langenbrunner after him in the second period, Devils were hitting him he had 4 hits himself and he wasn’t on the ice for any goals for OR against. Then in the third Torts gave him 2 mins total ice and benched him for the final 13 minutes of the period which I was annoyed about and now he is in street clothes because he’s not engaged? 4 hits is not engaged? Before the game i got about 1,000 tweets from steve zipay telling us how torts was happy with sean’s play in the buffalo game because he was in front of the net and that he was going to use him on a line with Jokinen and A. Spends two days of practice with that line as the second line then the game starts and he doesn’t use the line once! I was at that Jan 23 game against Montreal when the Rangers went down 2-0 after 1 and came back to win 6-2. Avery took 2 penalties in 1st both questionable calls. the second cost us the 2-0 goal and when Sean got back to the bench Torts screamed in his face. they exchanged words. the replay on TV didn’t do it justice. Avery wound up having a big game which included an awesome fight but the point is that when the guy takes penalties Torts is all over him. He wants him to play on the “edge” but “stay within himself”. Torts needs to decide which Avery he wants because he can’t have it both ways. BTW Rangers always sleep in Atlanta and now with a huge 4 point game in front of us the player who has the most energy is in a suit. God help us.