According to the New York Rangers’ official Twitter feed, Sean Avery will make his 2011-12 debut on Saturday at MSG against the Montreal Canadiens. Head coach John Tortorella said there may be other lineup moves made prior to the game (Wojtek Wolski underwent an MRI, Mike Rupp is getting his knee scoped) but that Avery will play no matter what against the Habs.
Avery’s return marks another newsworthy moment in a career filled with them. Many figured his demotion to New York’s AHL affiliate in Connecticut was a goodbye to the NHL — upon waiving Avery, Tortorella said, “I don’t want to throw dirt on the guy, but we’re a better club now.” Avery himself said he didn’t expect to play for the Rangers again.
Yet 11 games later, he’s back in the show.
“I’m excited,” Avery said after today’s practice. “I feel good, for sure. We want to string some wins together, that’s what it’s all about. We’ve had a couple good games going into Saturday.”
There’s still no confirmation on exactly where or with whom Avery will play, although Andrew Gross of The Bergen Record said he assumes it’ll be with Erik Christensen and Andre Deveaux. The two had previously been centered by Artem Anisimov on New York’s fourth line.
Video: Canucks escape Arizona with another win for the moms
With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.
Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.
Phaneuf burned on Zetterberg game-winner in Sens debut
“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”
Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.
Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.
DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.
Blashill says DeKeyser has a bruise, not a break. Will know more tomorrow, but probably day-to-day
The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.
But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.
“Now, ultimately what they’re hoping from a Wideman perspective and the Players’ Association is that commissioner Gary Bettman will rule and he will reduce the number of games suspended down from 20,” said Dreger during a segment on NBCSN.
“Is he going to reduce it by three games? Five games seems a bit of a stretch. And when might he do that? There’s no timeline on this.”
7 hours of back and forth legal speak…otherwise known as the Wideman appeal has concluded in NYC.