Markus Naslund

Avery In The News

As the teams prepare for tonight’s potential series deciding Game 5 down in Washington D.C., the talk in the papers once again is Sean Avery. Whether you’re one of his biggest supporters – like Larry Brooks – or some guy in Canada who seems to be personally offended by Avery’s antics, the message is the same. It’s time to wise-up and get yourself out of control.

Avery’s play in the last two games – 4 penalties in Game 3, and 2 third period penalties in Game 4 – even have some wondering whether John Tortorella should bench him for Game 5. When asked about it, Tortorella refused to disclose what he was considering for tonight’s game. For those who missed the excitement in Game 4, you can check out the video in this thread over on our message board.

Aside from Avery, there are other Rangers who need to stay out of the boxMarkus Naslund has had five minors through the first four games, and Paul Mara was guilty of two in Game 4.

The image of Tortorella behind the bench has sparked at least one writer in Tampa to start pining for the ‘good old days’. With the Lightning out of the playoffs, and the franchise in a bit of disarray since Oren Koules and his ownership group took over, it’s not all that surprising to read.

Another Ranger who is drawing envious looks is Henrik Lundqvist. While Cap fans may be motivated to offer up the future of their franchise to try and pry Lundqvist from the Rangers, Alexander Ovechkin is dealing with a more immediate issue, how to score on him.

Rangers captain Chris Drury suggests the Rangers look at tonight’s game as if they were down 3-1, the Capitals have a much simpler job…they have to look it as being down 3-1. They will have to win each of their remaining three games to move on. Having been in a similar situation last year at least gives them the knowledge that they have done it before – well at least in terms of forcing a Game 7.

While we’re on the topic of the Caps, their leading defenseman Mike Green was officially nominated for the Norris Trophy and is expected to be in the running with Zdeno Chara for the award. Green has had little impact on the series to date, which suggests the Rangers finally have developed a game plan after being burned a number of times in the regular season the last couple of years.

Interestingly, with all this talk on the Caps trying to stay alive in the series, the Washington Times has still found some space in their paper to write a story about Jim Schoenfeld.

If the Rangers do manage to get past the Capitals tonight then they’ll face the awaiting Bruins who swept the Canadiens. It was Boston’s first series win since 1999, with only one of the current Bruins – PJ Axelsson – around long enough to remember that one.

Pack on brink of elimination
A 2-0 series lead has quickly evaporated and the Pack now find themselves one loss away from the end of their season after a listless 3-1 loss last night. Veteran defender Patrick Traverse lead the way for Worcester with two goals, Dane Byers scoring the lone goal for the Wolf Pack. Hartford have now lost three in a row and could be eliminated this weekend when they head back to Worcester to play Game 6.

OHL Playoffs
Belleville took two overtime periods, but have managed to force a Game 6 with Evgeny Grachev and the Brampton Battalion tonight. Grachev had the second Brampton goal late in the second to tie the game at 2-2, but Belleville scored the winner on the PP with just 1:16 remaining in the second OT period.

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