Thursday, January 7, 2010
Sean Avery was in classic form last night at MSG where the New York Rangers defeated the Minneso... er, Dallas Stars, by a score of 5-2. Avery scored and assisted on 3 other goals, got in Marty Turco's face (as well as everyone else), and he really had the Dallas Stars' attention last night. Remember- this is the team that signed Sean Avery to a 4-year, 15.5 million dollar deal and when things went wrong, they blamed it all on Sean. Give me a break! Luckily for Rangers fans, he ended up back in Ranger blue and now the Stars have no one else to blame but themselves. Like I always have maintained, Sean Avery could play for my team any day, any week, any time.
Getting back to the game... The Rangers found themselves down early on a fluky goal by Brad Richards. I was thinking to myself, "Here we go again". Luckily for the Rangers, Sean Avery responded with a goal on a slap shot that beat Marty Turco on the shortside. There was a nice pass by Matt Gilroy to set up Avery’s goal, by the way. Later in the period Sean Avery’s passing attempt found Marian Gaborik (who yet again showed he has the fastest gun in the East) who made a nice forehand to backhand move that defied logic. I’ve played and followed hockey for a long time and I am thoroughly convinced that Marian Gaborik has the fastest and quickest hands that I have ever seen.
Heading into the second period the Stars managed to fluke yet another goal off of a Rangers stick (that was held by Chris Drury) as Jere Lehtinen got credit for the goal. Ales Kotalik (believe it or not) blasted one past Turco’s short side yet again after a nice feed by Sean Avery to give the Blueshirts a 3-2 lead with one period to go.
In the third period Avery managed to pull off a magical spin move off the left boards that allowed him to find a hard charging Chris Drury for a nice empty-net deflection. See what happens when you go hard to the net? The Rangers then held on to a 4-2 lead and Ryan Callahan finished off the scoring with an empty net goal making the final score 5-2 in favor of the Rangers. The win gave the Rangers their 2nd in a row at home (Wow! Really?) and a big 2 points in the standings. Overall it was a very good night for the Rangers: Lundqvist was solid, the D was strong, the effort was there, and Sean Avery was clicking on all cylinders. With a record of 7-1-2 in their last 10, have the Rangers finally found some consistency? Who knows. One thing that is for sure is that if you play smart, hard, and give everything that you got- the results usually fall in your favor. The proof is in the pudding, there’s no fooling anyone.
Well, next up for the Blueshirts is a tilt in Atlanta against the struggling Thrashers tonight. The Rangers find themselves in the midst of a playoff push and right now all points are as valuable as gold. Let’s hope that the Rangers can put together another solid effort and take one on the road. With reports being that Chad Johnson will make his first career NHL start, the Rangers will need to give it all they have to make things easier for their rookie net minder.
Lastly, I want to take the time to congratulate Team USA for winning the gold medal in the World Juniors Championship. They had a thrilling OT victory over Team Canada (who mounted a late, third period comeback). As you know, I am Canadian and I was cheering Canada all the way- but you have to appreciate and give credit where it’s due. Team USA, led by Rangers prospects Derek Stepan, Chris Kreider, and Ryan Borqoue, deserved the victory. No sour grapes from me. This win may get more fans in America to start watching and get into the great sport of hockey- because let’s face it, it is needed! Over and out!
By the way... check out this great post-game gem from the one and only Sean Avery.