NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 11: Sean Avery #16 of the New York Rangers celebrates his goal in the first period against the Carolina Hurricanes at Madison Square Garden on November 11, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Sean Avery had his best game as a member of the New York Rangers this season, scoring a goal in just over 10 minutes of ice time.
There are many who were criticizing John Tortorella over the use of Avery, but I think Tortorella has been smart with him. He's started him off slow, let his body get used to the grind of an NHL game, and has given him ice time when he deserved it.
Avery even told the media after the game that he "needed to play like that every night." It's been a progression for Avery, who started his time with the big club very conservatively, and has pushed himself to becoming more and more like the Sean Avery of old with each passing game.
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One of the biggest concerns about Avery was his penalties taken to penalties drawn statistic. And while I can't find a metic on how many penalties Avery has drawn, he hasn't taken a single penalty in his four games with the Rangers this season. In fact, his first penalty minutes of the year was after a fight with Zenon Konopka.
He drew a vital power play for the Rangers against Carolina, and has done a very good job being physical and getting under opponent's skin without getting himself a seat in the penalty box. The game against the Hurricanes specifically was vintage Sean Avery and that's a good thing for the Rangers.
Tomorrow's matchup with the New York Islanders should be another fantastic chance for the Avery to show just how much of an impact he can make with the team. Avery has generally saved some of his best games for matchups with the Islanders, and it should make Tuesday quite a bit of fun.
It could also prove that Avery is not just here to stay, but will make a consistent impact as well.