John Tortorella benched Sean Avery for game five against the Washington Capitals, and it bit him right in the ass.
After being frustrated with Avery, who took a bad penalty in game four, Tortorella decided to sit Avery and bring in Aaron Voros. Huge mistake.
The Caps took control of game four quickly, and the Rangers looked stunned. There was significantly less aggressiveness with Avery out of the lineup. And the Rangers went down by a score of four to nothing.
Then, Tortorella gets into an altercation with a Capitals fan, and is suspended for game five. I guess his coaching style is do what I say, not what I do.
Avery was put back into the lineup for game six; however, being benched for the previous game obviously had a negative impact on his play.
Sean Avery was not the same player that we saw in the first four games. Instead of finishing his hits, he went for the puck instead. This had a tremendous impact of the play of the NY Rangers, and not in a good way.
It was apparent that Avery was concerned about being taken out of the lineup again, and just didn't want to stir things up.
It wasn't just Avery that was weak, though. The entire team (with the exception of Ryan Callahan) was absolutely horrible. Throwing weak hits, arrant passes, and lazy coverage in the defensive zone led to a five to three loss.
The Rangers deserved to lose games five and six, and have nobody to blame but themselves.
Tortorella made a huge mistake by trying to put Sean Avery on a leash, instead of letting him play his game. Yes, Avery needs to be checked every now and again, but taking him out entirely was a bad decision. It affected him and the team negatively.
Avery has been solid since returning to the team, and really hasn't lost control, so sitting him was obviously a personal thing. Tortorella needs to get over himself and get back to what's important. WINNING!
I'm just wondering if Tortorella is going to bench Derek Morris and Nikolai Zherdev for giving the puck up in the defensive zone, costing the Rangers a goal in game six. Or if Wade Redden will be taken out of the line up for pretty much under performing the entire series thus far.
If the Rangers continue to play like this, the Capitals will easily come out on top in game seven.