The Rangers will get a shot of energy (among other things) Friday night as John Tortorella plugs agitator extraordinaire Sean Avery into his Game 2 lineup against the Caps.
Avery, who was a healthy scratch in the series opener, is one of the most well-known players in the NHL – mostly for his controversial style on the ice and some choice words he has said in front of cameras and microphones.
But don’t expect the Caps to change much with Avery replacing Mats Zuccarello.
“It doesn’t change anything. It probably gives them more aggressiveness on the forecheck, which sounds like what they wanted to get anyway,” Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said. “And when he’s on top of his game he’s a really good player. I’ve always admired how good he can be. It’s the other stuff that gets him all the attention.”
What Avery also brings is an agitating presence that can be both good and bad for the Rangers. He’s capable of frustrating opponents and drawing penalties but also committing them and putting New York in a tough spot.
For his part, Boudreau understands the extra element of playoff hockey that is added with Avery – and said his players do, too.
“I think Sean’s been in the league long enough that our guys will know not to get baited, hopefully,” he said. “But we’ll definitely talk to them about it.”