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Avery Shows Why He's Worth the Risk

By Ray Smith

As his name echoed through the building, it reminded fans of a time when the Broadway Blueshirts were in their glory days. Chants of "Rich-ter!" and "Bri-an Leetch!" once filled the World's Most Famous Arena. Their names were chanted because of their dazzling plays and no-nonsense hard work. When the Garden crowd chants "Avery!", it's safe to say they're doing it for a different reason.

In a 2010 coming out party for Sean Avery, in which he rattled the visiting Stars on seemingly every stoppage in play, he compiled a career-tying best four points. Hard work, grit, humor and the ability to rile up the crowd led to the Blueshirt fans embracing this once embattled NHL player. Many wondered if there was a place for him in the league following the sloppy seconds incident and repeated fights and suspensions. Tonight, against the Stars, Avery showed there's plenty of room for the talented player who either you love or you hate.

He controlled the flow of the game with his hits and rattling of Marty Turco and company. There is obviously some bad blood between Avery and his former Star teammates, but time and again, critics say that Avery is no good for the league. After his first goal, you knew he was out for revenge. When he spin-o-ramma'd and slid the puck across the ice to a waiting stick of Chris Drury, that was the icing on the cake.

Avery's four points came with ten minutes of the game spent in the penalty box for a little bit of "over-rattling" following a Rangers goal in which Avery assisted on in the middle of the second period. The official call was "misconduct." Sometimes a couple of juicy comments will distract the team, but if Avery can produce a few more four-point nights, Tortorella probably wouldn't care if No. 16 screamed curses in front of the press.

The Rangers had 5 goals, their highest total in 10 games. A clicking offense is the key to the Rangers success in the future, because King Henrik will soon be fatigued. The Rangers next investment should be in a backup goaltender.

Your thoughts? Let's hear it in the comments section.

Rangers are back in action on Thursday, Jan. 7 in Atlanta.


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