With Vaclav Prospal Out, Sean Avery Needs To Shine for Rangers

Tonight's Healthy ScratchesCorrespondent IDecember 30, 2009

NEW YORK - APRIL 26: Sean Avery #16 of the New York Rangers is pushed over Simeon Varlamov #40 by Tom Poti #3 of the Washington Capitals during Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal Round of the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on April 26, 2009 in New York City. The Capitals defeated the Rangers 5-3.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Unless you have been blind for the previous 10 games or so, you would have noticed that the best Ranger forward has been Sean Avery.

I'm not talking about production here. I'm talking about consistency.

Obviously, if you look at his numbers—no goals since Nov. 23 against Columbus when it seemed like half the team scored—you would beg to differ.

Avery has been noticeable every time he has been on the ice. This phrase has been thrown around more than wet gloves between equipment managers on the bench but, he's "skating that line" that he needs to play at to be Sean Avery .

Even though Christopher Higgins was announced as Prospal's replacement on the top line, I still think Avery is going to shine in his absence.

Of course, Higgins skating along side Gaborik and Dubinsky on Tuesday morning in no way, shape or form solidifies his remaining there—not with the way Tortorella shuffles lines.

Avery, coming off one of his best games of the season—a 3-2 SO loss against the Islanders—is bound to start burying the puck.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

He has been getting quality shots on goal, but a crossbar here, a post there, pepper that with some quality goaltending, and the twine is eluding Avery.

One of the best things that might/hopefully happen for Avery with Prospal's injury, is more power play time.

Avery is at his best when he is creating havoc in front of the opposition's goal.

Garbage goals.

That's all Avery needs. That's all the Rangers power play needs.

He doesn't have the size of, say, Tomas Holmstrom of the Red Wings, but he absolutely has the tenacity and hands to have ample opportunity to bury pucks while disrupting life in front of the goalie.

Right now, nobody camps in front of the net for the Rangers on a regular basis. I have no idea why. Hell, no one has done it since Graves or Verbeek departed from the team.

Keeping Avery there would obviously make it more difficult for the goalie to concentrate on the shooter, but it would free up even more room for Gaborik to do his thing.

With a man down, already, the opposition would have to dedicate another man solely to focus on Avery in front, which essentially leaves a 4-on-3 along the side boards and points. Rather than shift into a box or diamond scheme and force everything from the outside.

It shouldn't only be Avery that is doing this. Why did Drury get such a big contract in the first place? Drury has made a career of scoring clutch, GARBAGE goals. He comes to the Rangers and all of a sudden he is a perimeter player?

I could be wrong, but let's hope I'm not: Sean Avery, expect big things.

Follow me on Twitter!

slash iconYour sports. Delivered.

Enjoy our content? Join our newsletter to get the latest in sports news delivered straight to your inbox!