I am calling you all out. All of you who came out strong at Sean Avery after the Blake incident in Toronto. You said that Avery was an immature and wothless player and that he "deserves everything he gets." You may have said that he did something bad IF he did it. You may have said that he did do it. You may have wanted him dead or severely injured. But you all came out and went after him in some way. I did too.
It was revealed that he never said those comments to Blake. That much is known. But did anybody come out like a man and say that Avery is innocent and that the writer who made up the story did a terrible thing.
Did anybody say one measly word about his innocence.
One person did. Everybody else crawled into their little holes and "forgot" that anything happened. I wrote a blog about his innocence. No comments. No surprise.
Well, it seems to be too late to pay attention to that, but try to pay attention to this.
Last season, the Rangers were 17-6-6 with Sean Avery and 23-24-4 without him.
This season, they are 11-5-1 with him and 8-10-3 without him.
The streak that led to the playoff berth last season began when Avery camoe over from the Kings.
The streak that began 10 games into this season, began when Avery returned from an injury suffered during the second game of the year. It ended when he left the ice against Dallas with a wrist injury. And when the Rangers are playing the worst hockey of the year, he returns. They play strong in a losing effort vs Ottawa and come back with two convincing wins over Carolina and Toronto. We are not out of the woods yet, far from it, but it is a start.
I am convinced. You can usually predict the outcome of a Rangers game after watching a preiod or so. Disregard the score. Just see who is winning those battles along the boards, who is first to the loose pucks and who is winning the physical battles. Do that and you will pick the winner 90% of the time.
And the fact of the matter is that the Rangers, as a group, hustle a lot more when Avery is on the bench. They play a lot more physical when he is in the game. He brings more than a mouth. He brings motivation for a team who's coach can't motivate the team and who's captain has trouble motivating himself.
He has only 2 goals and 8 assists in 17 games this season. But he assists in much more than scoring.
I am a believer. Jump on the Avery bandwagon.