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Saturday, September 23, 2023


Actions of Avery, coach detrimental

New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella benched Sean Avery for Game 5 of the Rangers’ opening round Stanley Cup playoffs series against the Washington Capitals. Avery’s abrasive play in Game 4 left the Rangers short-handed for a good portion of the third period of the Rangers’ 2-1 win.

After the Capitals took Game 5, 4-0, Tortorella got into an altercation with an overly zealous, disrespectful Capitals’ fan and found himself suspended by the league for Game 6. Ironically, the Rangers lost both Games 5 and 6. The Rangers will need Avery and Tortorella for Tuesday’s Game 7 showdown, so the pair must control their emotions.

Tonight’s Game 6 between the heavily favored – yet down in the series – San Jose Sharks and the Anaheim Ducks should be a good one. Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov needs to be at the top of his game against the offense-heavy Ducks.

The Sharks have a reputation for underachieving during the postseason. If they lose another playoff series, expect personnel changes to be made in the offseason.

Home-ice advantage has been key in the Chicago Blackhawks’ series with the Calgary Flames. The Flames trail the series 3-2 going into tonight’s game in Calgary. It would be smart to predict the home team will once again win tonight. If there is a Game 7 in Chicago, something has got to give for the Flames to advance.

Philadelphia Flyers fans are preparing for another long summer after the Flyers blew a 3-0 lead in Saturday’s Game 6 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Goaltender Martin Biron is not expected to return to Philadelphia. Will the Flyers aggressively seek a goalie in the free agent market? Buffalo’s Ryan Miller will be an unrestricted free agent, but will likely be courted by the Detroit Red Wings.

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