Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Daily Recap: What's Behind Christensen/Avery Reaction; Staal Back In Form Moving Game Forward; Avery to ASG

Most of the traffic today was still focused on the Erik Christensen comments about Sean Avery’s role in the brawl during the Rangers game vs Edmonton.  In thinking more and more about the situation I was left pondering why the reaction against Christensen has been so venomous leading me to ask, Was It Because Christensen Said It Or Because He Said It About Avery?

Vote For NHL All-Star Game: Include Avery To Ruin Bettman's Weekend

Update: After initially resisting the movement to get Avery in the All-Star game just to mess with Bettman I have come to realize that the loss to the game or whomever might deserve to go is far outweighed by the satisfaction of watching Bettman and Campbell squirm over him being there.  That doesn't even count all the media guys who bash him for the fun of it having to cover him and call him All-star.  Rest of the prior incarnation below.

Marc Staal Is Back And Taking The Next Step Forward

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

The most under reported aspect of the Rangers current three game winning streak has been the return of Marc Staal.  Yes I am well aware that he did not actually go anywhere but in these last three games he has re-emerged as the best defenseman on this club and is showing why he was considered one of the best shutdown defensemen in the league.  Against Buffalo we had the return of Marian Gaborik which was then upstaged by the goals of Artem Anisimov.  Against Edmonton we had the Gaborik hat-trick the rising from the dead of Alex Frolov all of which would be overshadowed by Sean Avery, the brawl and what Erik Christensen would say on it.  Last night we had the brilliance of Lundqvist in his return from missing two games and the will of Dubinsky down the stretch to get that victory.  All in all we have three straight wins with different stars in each game, but leading the way for those victories in his quiet manner, but no so quiet game, has been Marc Staal.

Was It That Christensen Said It Or That It Was About Avery That The Fan Reaction Happened?

I have breached this kind of topic before in discussing the Michal Rozsival booing that was going on at MSG even when Rozsival was playing excellent hockey earlier this season and now I am left wondering it again today in regards to the Erik Christensen - Sean Avery media incident.  For me the Rozsival booing was just because he was Rozsival and the fact that it was Callahan who called the fans out on it meant it was ok because he is Callahan.  In that situation I asked if it has been anyone other than Ryan Callahan if they would have not only gotten a pass from the fans, but gotten credit for it showing leadership.  For me the answer is no, but instead of dissecting it in that scenario I want to pull it forward to what has gone on the last 36 hours.

Rangers Week Ahead Starting 11-15-2010; Penguins + Bruins + an Avalache = a Wild Week

With all the activity regarding the brawl and Erik Christensen’s comments the Week Ahead kind of got pushed to the back burner and I held back posting in, but I didn’t want to lose what was supposed to be the story of the day about Rangers getting balanced scoring, so Week Ahead ended up on Tuesday after a game already gone.  Will have more new material throughout the day. So here it is as it should have been posted before yesterday’s game with Pittsburgh, you can skip the Penguins piece if you like.

The Rangers are entering the week on a high note with two straight home wins to get to 9-7-1 overall and with the return of their star offensive player they are feeling pretty good about themselves.  The expectation is the other major star on the team, Henrik Lundqvist, will be back from his two game absence against the Penguins and it will be another step towards getting the team to full strength.  The schedule this week looks very tough with a game at Pittsburgh, a home game against a very good Boston Bruins team and then a trip towards the West with games at Colorado and at Minnesota back to back.