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Lofty Expectations For Avery

November 5, 2011, by

When Sean Avery returns to the lineup tonight, it will be with very high expectations from the fans. Chants of “We Want Avery” rang down from the blue seats from the moment the Rangers touched home ice last week, and have continued in spurts throughout this homestand. When the Rangers play well, the chants are quiet, and sometimes met with harsh criticism from fans. But when the Rangers are losing, the chants get loud. It seems that fans think that Avery is the answer to all that troubles this team.

Whether the above assumption is true or not, it has the appearance of truth, which is all it really needs. From 2007-2008, Sean Avery was a force to be reckoned with on the Rangers. He was incredibly effective, and instantly became a fan favorite. His skills, and most importantly his ability to draw penalties, diminished drastically during Avery’s second run on Broadway, and it ended up with him in the AHL.┬áIt seems that fans only remember the 2007-2008 version of Avery.

For Avery to succeed, he needs to be that 2007-2008 Sean Avery. He needs to get under the skin of opponents. He needs to stay onsides. He needs to stay out of the box. He needs to grind along the walls. He needs to do this every single night. The fans have a taste for life without Sean Avery, and it has been pretty decent hockey, all things considered. The Rangers have found ways to beat playoff teams, but have yet to play a full 60 minutes for several straight games (they have two in a row against San Jose and Anaheim though).

But what happens if the 2009-2011 version of Sean Avery shows up? The version that couldn’t do anything above things on a consistent basis? Sure, Avery showed up for a few games against rivals and the Dallas Stars, but other than that he was quite invisible. Will the fans, who love him dearly, turn on him because they realize that this isn’t the Avery they remember? Ranger fans have a history of incredibly lofty expectations that are impossible to meet (see: Drury, Chris circa 2009).

Is it possible that one of the most beloved members of the current Rangers organization can be turned on if he fails to deliver? Avery is not a goal scoring threat, he does not have the offensive talent that many think he does. He is a grinder, and he creates chances with speed, tenacity, and relentless work ethic –when he wants to.

Avery is a smart man. He realizes this is his final shot at sticking with an NHL club, and it may be his final year in the NHL. All signs point to the Rangers cutting him loose after this season, and no team picked him up on re-entry waivers for less than $1 million. Simply put, other than the Rangers, no one wants him. He knows this. The question is: does he play like it?


  1. bob says:

    Couldn’t agree more that people over-rate his offensive talent.That being said,his linemates benefit when Sean is on his game.How many times have players taken themselves out of position to take a run at Aves.So Sean may not be that offensively talented.But he can definitely help his linemates score indirectly.But if he takes a retaliatory penalty it is all for nil.

  2. Walt says:

    Sean now has the opportunity to prove himself worthy of getting playing time, let’s hope he doesn’t blow it.

    My gut tells me that with him on the 3rd line, Prust, and Boyle will get a jump start, and will get some points, if not tonight, very soon. Avery is under rated with his skating, forechecking, and scoreing ability. He will never get 20 goals, but he can contribute, so Sean, please think before you take cheap shots at people, and play a smart game for yourself!

  3. DebbietheHoc says:

    Perhaps if Torts takes the shackles off of him and gives Sean a regular shift and ALLOWS him to be the Sean that he was in 2007-8…Sean will give his fans what they want to see and what the Raangers need. Refs also can’t have 2 sets of rules. ..1 for #16and another for everyone else!!! WE WANT AVERY!!!!!!

    • The Suit says:

      Sean is a big boy and only he can control his own destiny. The finger pointing at refs, coaches, ice-time is all a pile of crap.

      If the guy is going to finish his career as a Ranger or as a Whale, its solely on him.

      • Joe says:

        How can you say ice time or lack there of, is a pile of crap in so far as control of his destiny? I think that if you on the ice for 2.5 minutes a period its difficult to make any type of positive impact. No?

  4. Eric says:

    I remember when the Rangers got Avery and to say I thought it was a waste was under statement. He proved me wrong and the Rangers made the playoffs and won a round. That is the Avery we need.

    Torts has to put him a position to succeed and not fail. Avery could skate and grind with he best of them. I think Avery on the third is a perfect fit, ifhe is playing his game.

    The key tonight is too control his emotions because he going to be so pumped for his first shift and we will be going crazy for Avery.

    Let’s go rangers

  5. Bobby G says:

    I know this is irrelevant, but do you guys know if Stralman is going to play tonight? I would assume not yet right?