This season has seen a lot of players for the New York Rangers accept their roles and thrive in them. There has been no Ranger who has accepted his role, whatever it might be better than Sean Avery. There has been no complaining about how no matter what he does on the ice he somehow continually ends up on the fourth line to give other players of more skill opportunities over him. The interesting thing about it is both last night and possibly against Montreal, there has been no Rangers forward that has played better than Sean Avery.
I have never been the biggest Avery guy, but this guy is working his tail off this season to do whatever it takes for the betterment of the team. He has played the skill game when he has been asked. He has played the agitator when asked to do that. He has fought when he felt the need was there. Instead of basically patting Sean on the head in the press for what he has done, it is time that coach John Tortorella put his lineup where his mouth is and move Avery up the lineup. The man has more than earned it.
There is no player on the club who has had better chemistry this season with Marian Gaborik than Avery and yet at every turn, with every new or returning player to the lineup, Avery is moved away from Gaborik to try and use that person in the spot. I am not saying Avery is a top line player because on pure skill he is not. However, I am saying that Avery has been the best partner for the player they cannot seem to get going consistently and it is time to reward him for that fact as well as his other contributions to the team. When you are constantly tinkering with lines because you are failing to have Gaborik find chemistry, it is time to keep it simple and put him with those whom he has had it with this year, and Avery tops the list.
Until such time as Avery forgets to play disciplined hockey and loses his focus there is absolutely no reason to separate him from Marian Gaborik. Think of the two of them in the same fashion that you do Boyle and Prust and work on combinations from that point forward.
Later I will examine which center should work between these two.