Quick Practice Notes: Avery Scratched Again, Hank Gets The Start

December 13, 2011, by

As per Andrew Gross, the Rangers are going with the old adage of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” and have decided to go with the same lineup tonight as they did against Florida. This means that Henrik Lundqvist will get the start. This also means that Sean Avery will be a healthy scratch tonight, and Erik Christensen will dress in his place. It is unlikely that Christensen will get the same 12:54 in ice time that he received on Sunday night, as this game with Dallas will likely be significantly closer, thus limiting extra shifts for the fourth line. If I were a betting man, I’d bet that as long as this game remains close, Christensen will get about 10 minutes of ice time this game.

The lines will be the same as well:

Artem Anisimov-Derek Stepan-Marian Gaborik
Ruslan Fedotenko-Brad Richards-Ryan Callahan
Carl Hagelin-Brian Boyle-John Mitchell
Brandon Dubinsky-Erik Christensen-Brandon Prust

Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi
Michael Del Zotto-Steve Eminger
Jeff Woywitka-Anton Stralman

There’s going to be the obligatory “WHY ISN’T AVERY PLAYING?!?!?!?!” tweets/comments/rants across the interwebs, but for those with sane minds and a rational thought process, there should be no surprise or anger over leaving the lineup the same after a 6-1 demolishing of the Panthers.

Categories : Lineup Changes


  1. Eric says:

    Except, your philosophy fails because Avery was in the lineup the previous game, when we won 4-1. So, why did Torts “fix it” if it wasn’t “broke”?

    • Dave says:

      They won 4-1 in a game where Avery played under 4 minutes and had zero effect on the outcome of the game. Clearly the team won without Avery.

    • VinceA says:

      Because Tort’s is an asshole,enough said.

  2. joegee says:

    It wasn’t broke before the Florida game; but Torterella felt the need to fix it. Can’t argue with the results, but benching Avery and playing Christensen had nothing to do with it. This is just the head coach, once again, sticking it to Avery by severely limiting his ice time and then benching him. Then he has the gall to insinuate that Avery’s play has ‘plateaued.’ While they keep winning, no one is gonna’ make a big deal out of this: especially Avery. But when the inevitable losing streak begins, and Avery is either benched or in Hartford, lets see the head coach try to explain his infatuation with a scrub such as Christiansen, or one of his so-called “better players.” At the very least, the press conferences (with Larry Brooks leading the inquisition) should be very entertaining. Only Hope that HBO has the cameras rolling!

    • VinceR says:

      “Can’t argue with the results, but benching Avery and playing Christensen had nothing to do with it.”

      Doesn’t that say it all though? It’s so much ado about nothing.

  3. BruceMacGregor says:

    Torts is a first **** and bully. He starts with the answer then creates the question. His majesty doesn’t want to dress Avery, so it’s sticking with a winning lineup. Riiiight.

    As Eric said, except for the game before which they won 4-1.

    When one actually looks behind the crap this decorticate puts out there, it always breaks down to, “Because I **** Said So!!”

  4. Dave says:

    joegee/BruceMacGregor: see my response to Eric.

    • The Suit says:

      Mentioning Avery on this site produces more trolls than Scandinavian folklore.

    • joegee says:

      And they beat Florida without any real contribution from Christiansen. So it was a wash. And if that is the case, why did the coach feel the need to change things. This is all just Torterella, paving the way for Rupp and his big contract, to regain a spot once he gets back. Avery will be sent down, and that shoot-out expert Eric Christiansen,will get a charity job on the bench. Wow, what genius coaching.

  5. opie says:

    if any one should be benched it should be Brandon Dubinsky or Brian Boyle these two have been useless this year we need people that can score and if benching them for a couple of games can light a fire under there ass i’m so for it. Give another call up a shot for a couple of games like miller. I’m so pissed they didn’t trade Dubi for Milan Lucic two years ago cause I’m sorry I just don’t see Dubi scoring more than he had last year or boyle for that matter either. I think they peaked

    • Dave says:

      While I agree with sitting Dubi for a game, I disagree with the reasoning. Early in the year, Dubi wasn’t scoring but he was doing everything else right (forechecking, defense, etc). His play away from the puck has diminished, hence his 4th line duty.

  6. Bway Bshirt says:

    The Avery Fanboys are a little sketch. I mean…mancrushes vs. quality play.

  7. VinceR says:

    From Blueshirt Bulletin’s “Stats to Chew on”:

    “- The Rangers are 7-1-1 since recalling Carl Hagelin and John Mitchell. New York is 11-3-1 with Sean Avery in the lineup and 17-3-1 with Jeff Woywitka in the lineup.”

    Would there be so much hubbub if Woywitka was scratched?

    • RangerSmurf says:

      Why ask would? Woywitka was benched for Stralman in the middle there, nobody cared.

      • VinceR says:

        Great point, it’s been tested. Where is the Woywitka fury? See JordanO’s post below…these minor pieces do not matter.

        You can take the stats above and do them with almost any player. The team’s record is great, and fiddling with the last couple of players in the lineup is just not that big of a deal.

  8. JordanO says:

    The team is on a roll, and fiddling with minor pieces (Avery, Christensen, Woywitka) doesn’t make a major impact. Arguments such as demoting Haeglin or the place of Wolski may make a bigger impact, but the slight contributions of Avery vs. Christensen isn’t a huge issue.

  9. opie says:

    I’m a big fan of Woywitka i like his game he realy knows how to get the puck out of the d zone quickly he makes the smart simple play with the puck and in the o zone if he has a shot he takes it. and hi d play is good. I can see why he was a first round pick he has good hockey sence. if he can get his skating improved, a little quicker first step and get into better shap he might be able to live up to his potental. I saw him interviewed once he looks like he belongs in a heavy metal cover bad(lol)