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Avery Has To Get Back To Being Avery

J QuigContributor IApril 28, 2009

NEW YORK - APRIL 20: Sean Avery #16 of the New York Rangers interferes with goaltender Simeon Varlamov #40 of the Washington Capitals during Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal Round of the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on April 20, 2009 in New York City. The Capitals defeated the Rangers 4-0. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The Rangers are playing Game Seven of their first-round Playoff series tonight at Washington, and if they are to have a chance of winning, they must do three things.

One, they must shoot the puck.

Two, the Rangers must protect their own and instigate not retaliate.

And lastly, Sean Avery must be Sean Avery.

I was going to say Lundqvist has to be stellar for the Rangers to win this game, but that simply is not true. If the Rangers just shoot the puck from all angles and from every which way, that would be a good start.

This kid starting for the Caps with no NHL Playoff experience and six games played total is still mostly untested. If New York just throws everything at him and stops being so predictable by forcing every puck to the point for a shot, I think they'll score a lot more often.

The Rangers must instigate not retaliate. They must take the game to the Capitals by checking them up high first. I say, don't wait until they check you up high and then retaliate.

Most of the players on the Rangers can get away with stuff like that, unless they do it to Alexander Ovechkin. But the rest of the Washington team are not beneficiaries of special rules. They may be allowed to nibble a little (sound fishy, Morrison?) but other than that, they've got no privileges.

Avery must be Avery, and this is very important. If Sean Avery is that shell of himself like he was in Game Six, all is lost.

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Tortorella was wrong for benching Avery for being Avery in Game Five. I can't emphasize this point enough; if Tortorella had been paying attention, he wouldn't have had Avery in at that time of the game in a two-on-one battle. The failure there was the coach's mistake almost as much as Avery's.

Sean came back from that suspension very meekly. I don't think I saw him in one scrum, and the Rangers were getting killed. The Capitals were dancing all over the ice as if it were Ice Capades.

Heck, Ovechkin and Backman did a belly bump on the Ranger emblem on center ice.

What? This would not happen if Avery did not have his legs cut out from under him by his own coach. 

If Sean is going to be wimpy, we might as well have one of the high-scoring kids from Hartford play in his spot.

The pest must play his game tonight, and the Rangers must take it to Washington. It's our turn to dance.