Monday, October 20, 2008

The Return of Avery - Preview. . .

"That boy never played with a doll in his life. Why would he tell people that?" - Al Avery (Sean's father) on Sean's recent interview

I think that pretty much sums up almost everything you need to know about Sean Avery. The guy, as I've said before and will continue to hold true to, is a character. Plain. Simple. Done deal. He says what he says to get a rise out of those around him. He is an actor, playing a role, and the NHL and it's rinks are his stage.

In between it all, he manages to play hockey (sometimes), but he, like me, much prefers his part time job. His - pain in the @ss!

But I write this all with a smile on my face. Sean, a character, is also a heck of a hockey player. When he wants to be. I can't in all of my running it through my head, figure out why he would sign in Dallas and purposely try to play poorly there. Again, I've made it clear. If he doesn't play well and keep as good an attitude as possible, no one will take him off Dallas' hands. And the Sean Avery show will come to an end - on ice at least.

However, it's really kinda early to be saying that, in my opinion. True, Sean came to the Rangers and the impact was like a flame to gasoline. He ignited. Perhaps he is still getting used to the southern climate. More cowboy boots and less Naked Cowboys. . .maybe?

He will return tonight though to a climate he was very familiar with for the bulk of the last two years - New York City. Will the fans great him with open arms and chants of Avery-Avery? Probably not. I do, if I had to take a guess, think he'll get a good reception. I do. He was a big part of this team's success. And I think people will remember that. And given the absolute lack of personality and character on this team right now, I think some miss Sean Avery more than ever.
Dallas comes into the Garden at 1-3-1, which I think is below their standards and certainly what I expected from them. The Rangers are currently at 6-1-1 and, might I be so bold to admit, are getting better results than they might be deserving.

I didn't get to see Saturday's game, and I only read a few articles, so I can't really comment on it. But, to sum up:

-The Rangers PP has been horrible. 5 for 39, good for 22nd in the league. Just over 12%. Honestly. . . I never should have said it couldn't get worse.

-Naslund and Drury are a combined -7 on the year. So not only have they not been scoring, but I noticed they were both -2 for the game on Saturday as well. Drury continues to be, until proven otherwise, my biggest personal disappointment on this team. (And faceoff, smashe-off; this team was awesome on faceoffs. This year, so far, slightly less awesome. Same, stupid non-difference!)

-To expound upon my comment above on the lack of personality on the team. I love the Rangers I really do. I think that's clear. But while I'll try to apologize while being blunt in some of my comments, I'm not going to sugar coat either. If the Rangers did not have Aaron Voros and Brandon Dubinsky, this team would be in a much worse place. In the standings. In moral. End of story. They are contributing in bulk and they are looking alive in doing so. If I were to list the Rangers that had personality (on the ice), I'm looking at a rare few: Valiquette, Dubinsky, and perhaps and at times: Aaron Voros, Paul Mara, and Colton Orr (smiling after fighting never hurts). But seriously, this team is not bursting at the seams with life. It's not. They are winning, which is great, but with the exception of a good goal celebration run from the PS3 line, this team does not really make you feel that they well. . .feel it. It's obviously too early to really comment on this, but I'm just taking a moment to say what I feel. They are winning - yes. But are they really doing it in the way you thought they'd be? Cause I can certainly say, not at all. And I'm also not sure how long it will last at this rate. A strong PK, one line of scoring, and good goaltending can only last so far before more holes are exposed. Just my opinion.

Around the league:

Biggest surprise to start the season - negative: a tie for me between Philadelphia and Anaheim's lackluster starts.

Biggest surprise to start the season - positive: St. Louis's PP and Buffalo's going 4-0-1

I'll check in tomorrow with The Return of Avery. . .the Recap. Enjoy everyone.

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