What we liked: There is only one Sean Avery in the National Hockey League. He is very original in the way he plays the game and there is no one like him out there. I think that is why we learn to love Sean Avery and why he is our Sean Avery. Again this season, despite being put on a tight leash by head coach John Tortorella, he was able to add that originality to the lineup and at times it worked, and at others it did not. He scored in streaks, having multiple two-goal games, and showed spurts of being the great player we all know he can be.
This team lacked heart often throughout the season, but Avery consistently brought it. We saw it when he stuck up for Marian Gaborik in Philadelphia when fighting Daniel Carcillo. We saw it when he netted two goals against his former team in the Dallas Stars. When he has his head on straight, he can make things happen.
What we didn't like: Consistency was something Sean certainly lacked this season. Of course, missing around ten games due to injury did not help, but like I mentioned above, his scoring came in one or two games at a time, and then he wouldn't net another for about a month or so.
And then there are those very foolish penalties that he takes once in a while. I must say that he wasn't as bad with that this season as he has been in the past, but every now and then Sean's antics would go too far and get him into trouble. At the same time, though, I felt John Tortorella overreacted by punishing him with game long benches and even scratches for them. That is just ridiculous.
Continue reading after the jump.
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Highlight game: Without a doubt Sean Avery's highlight game was when he made the Dallas Stars, his former team that basically dumped him because of his "sloppy seconds" comment, eat their own words. On January 6th, with the Stars visiting the Garden, Avery recorded two goals and two assists in a 5-2 winning effort. The best moment of that game, though, was in his postgame interview when he was asked what was different on that night, and he responded that he was being paid by both teams.
Final Thoughts: I really feel that Sean Avery is a much better player than most people give him credit for. He knows how to play the game of hockey, he has skill, and we know that he can score goals. He is not just a goon like most outsiders assume. It is a shame that his mentality can sometimes interfere with his game play.
When he is determined, he has the ability to make things happen. He can reach that level of play where he is hard to stop. The only problem is, he is not always focused on doing that. He gets distracted and detaches himself from the hockey game. That is when he gets himself into trouble, not only with the refs, but with the coach, who apparently does not have much patients for Sean's antics.