The Rangers with Avery and Coach Tortorella: The Frog and the Scorpions

Martin AverySenior Writer IApril 26, 2009

NEW YORK - APRIL 22: Milan Jurcina #23 of the Washington Capitals skates against Sean Avery #16 of the New York Rangers during Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal Round of the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on April 22, 2008 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

The Scorpion and the Frog is a fable often mis-attributed to Aesop. The story is about a scorpion asking a frog to carry him across a river.

The frog is afraid of being stung, but the scorpion reassures him that if it stung the frog, the frog would sink and the scorpion would drown as well.

The frog then agrees; nevertheless, in mid-river, the scorpion stings him, dooming the two of them.

When asked why, the scorpion explains, "I'm a scorpion; it's my nature."

Sean Avery has helped the Rangers since his return, unnerving opponents and emboldening teammates. However, many were just waiting for him to hurt his team with his so-called "antics."

Avery, since his reclamation by the Rangers, after an exile from Dallas, has been good, with a few famous exceptions.

His ability to agitate, to hit, and score the occasional goal, helped the Rangers get back into the playoff picture this year. 

However, last Wednesday, in the first period, Avery squirted water on TSN analyst Ray Ferraro.

In the third, with 9:39 left and the Rangers clinging to a 2-1 lead over the Capitals, Avery hit defenceman Milan Jurcina in the face, and was given two minutes for roughing.

With just over three minutes remaining, Avery pushed his luck again, high-sticking Brian Pothier, and took a sloppy second penalty. 

When Avery was spinning in NHL nothingness, dumped by the Dallas Stars, the Rangers were willing to take him.

Good behaviour followed, for a time. It's like the story about the frog and the scorpion.

Or is the Rangers' new coach John Tortorella the scorpion?

The "fiery" Tortorella replaced the player-friendly Tom Renney just before the NHL Trade Deadline.

Tortorella missed Game Six in New York, as the NHL suspended him for one game after squirting a fan with water and throwing a water bottle that struck a fan in the third period of Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal Series with the Washington Capitals in Washington.


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