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Over on the message boards the benching of Sean Avery has gotten some pretty animated responses, nearly all of which were along the lines of crucifying the coach. I for one happened to agree with the coach as the play of Sean has been severely lacking for the bulk of this season. I would say out of the past 30 games or so Sean has been almost a complete non factor in about 25 of those games. Not really generating much in the offensive zone, not throwing other people off their games, in short, his game sagged quite substantially. People say that Torts has neutered him, and I say BS, especially when I hear comments from the coach where they want him to be more aggressive, make more plays, to do more things, and all we see is less, less, less. To me that screams of a player who is on cruise control and needs a kick in the pants. Torts gave Sean that kick with a pretty emphatic (and deserved) benching against the Thrashers.

It seemed to me that Torts picked his game very smartly on when to bench Sean. It was a game where he knew with or without Sean, the Rangers would still have a good chance to win, and he played the odds. It’s tough to bench him against the better teams in the league, which we have been playing for most of the past 2-3 weeks, but against a team like Atlanta, you can take a risk there, and it paid off in spades this afternoon against a very good Philadelphia Flyers team.

It’s also worth noting that Chris Drury has been playing some pretty good hockey of late. Not great hockey, and definitely not “C” worthy hockey, but much better than what we have seen over the bulk of this season. Chris has played his usual stellar PK, while managing to put up 8 points in his past 11 games (3 goals, 5 assists). Those certainly are numbers you would expect to see on a consistent basis from a guy making as much money as he is, and more importantly, from a guy who has been more or less a perennial 50-70 point player (8 points in 11 games is 60 point production over a full season). I give him a lot of crap, but I also want to point out when he is playing pretty well. Keep is up Chris, in fact, give me more while you’re at it.

Rangers have a Versus game on Tuesday, it’s a double whammy for me, since I have a game myself so I can’t even catch the radio broadcast of it. Let’s hope for a nice convincing Rangers win at home against a beatable, but red hot Montreal team.

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