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Sit Down Sean Avery

The Ranger’s quickly came to the defense of their coach after a nasty tweet by former New York Ranger, Sean Avery called for the firing of John Tortorella. The tweet debuted Saturday night, and last night the Ranger’s silenced Avery with a shorthanded goal, a stellar second and third period, and a solid two points to close the night. If that does not say, “sit down Sean Avery”, I do not know what does.

After the release of the tweet Saturday night that stated, “Fire this CLOWN, his players hate him and won’t play for his BS,” Captain Ryan Callahan spoke on behalf of his team on Sunday.

“Sean Avery’s comments solely represent his own thoughts and opinions,” Callahan said via CBSSports.com. “He did not speak for us as a team when he was here and certainly does not now.”

Rangers captain Ryan Callahan makes a statement with his play in response to former Blueshirt forward Sean Avery, who criticizes coach John Tortorella BRUCE BENNETT/GETTY IMAGES
Rangers captain Ryan Callahan makes a statement with his play in response to former Blueshirt forward Sean Avery, who criticizes coach John Tortorella
BRUCE BENNETT/GETTY IMAGES

Avery did not get the job done in New York, and as a result was released from the club last year. It is also interesting to note that this tweet is about a coach and his staff who led the team to the Eastern Conference Finals last season, and also made it as a front-runner for the Jack Adams trophy.

In response to this tweet, the Rangers pulled out a 4-2 win Monday night at Madison Square Garden against the Winnipeg Jets. While the Rangers trailed 2-1 in the first 20 minutes of the game, a shorthanded goal from captain Callahan set the spark to get the team back in it.

The silencing started 19 second into the first period. The Jets’ defenseman, Zach Bogosian, got caught up in the neutral zone, which led to a turnover. Callahan picked up the puck and headed the other way. The Rangers’ captain made a quick pass to Derek Stepan who put the puck away to make it 1-0 Blueshirts.

Winnipeg came back knocking, however, with two goals coming from faceoff losses. Both Nik Antropov and Zach Bogosian tallied goals and the Rangers found themselves trailing after one period. What could have been an early demise for the Rangers was quickly turned around.

Ryan McDonagh intercepted a pass by Blake Wheeler on the Jets’ power play. McDonagh lifted the puck out and Callahan went after it, but also just in time for Mats Zuccarello to make his way out of the box to pick off the puck from the Jets’ defenseman. Callahan and Zuccarello found themselves on a 2-on-1. Callahan got the puck from Zuccarello and held it with just enough poise and patience to backhand it at the last second past Ondrej Pavelec to tie the game.

This goal proved to be the momentum changer. The third period began and at 5:46, the Rangers generated some offense. The Ranger defense led the rush, and Bogosian blocked an initial shot from Callahan. The Blueshirts kept at it and Rick Nash got the puck back to Anton Stralman. Stralman wound up and shot, the puck deflected, but Derek Stepan was there to capitalize on the rebound. Stepan scored from the low left circle to give the Rangers the 3-2 lead.

It only went up from there. At 13:07 in the third, Rick Nash received the puck in the neutral zone amidst a scrum on the boards. Nash made his way into the offensive zone, weaving his way through the Jets’ defense. He turned to get the puck in a good position on his forehand, wound up, and roofed the puck past Pavelec.

Winnipeg Jets' Tobias Enstrom, right, attempts to slow down New York Rangers' Rick Nash during the first period of an NHL hockey game Monday, April 1, 2013, at Madison Square Garden in New York. Source: AP Photo/Bill Kostroun
Winnipeg Jets’ Tobias Enstrom, right, attempts to slow down New York Rangers’ Rick Nash during the first period of an NHL hockey game Monday, April 1, 2013, at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Source: AP Photo/Bill Kostroun

The Rangers made crucial plays in the neutral zone during the second and third period that helped spark offensive rushes and put them in the position to score. Nash’s goal was a perfect example, the Rangers players got the job done in the neutral zone, broke up the play along the boards, got the puck up to Nash who headed down to score.

The Blueshirts closed off the night with two points, and had an incredible performance from the first line, each contributing at least one goal. The Rangers also held the Jets scoreless in five power play opportunities. Ryan Callahan tallied four points, including a shorthanded goal and three assists. Derek Stepan contributed two goals and posted a plus four rating in 21:37 of ice time. Rick Nash registered a goal and an assist, and Henrik Lundqvist made 26 saves to improve to 15-13-2 overall.

The solid performance from the Rangers, despite the early trail in the first period, sent a message to Ranger fans and skeptics alike. This team shows glimpses of a Stanley Cup-contending squad, and while things have not gone as planned throughout this season, the season is not over. Furthermore, a tweet coming from a player that was released last season and has bitterness written all over him should be ignored. The coaching staff has proved they have what it takes to take a team to the Eastern Conference Finals. Playoffs present an almost brand new season, as many hockey fans know. If the Rangers can pocket some wins like Monday night’s performance, there is no telling what this team can achieve in the playoffs. The signs are there, they certainly can prove people wrong. In regards to the Avery tweet, maybe sticking to tweets about fashion and music are more his style because his former teammates sent a message loud and clear, they respect their coach and are not going to let someone like him take away the integrity and class they have as a squad. The Blueshirts are not done yet and have business to attend to.

 

Kaitlin Sullivan

Kaitlin Sullivan

Massachusetts native, and avid hockey fanatic, I grew up in a "hockey family" and began spending countless hours in frigid hockey rinks beginning at age 2. I eat, sleep, breathe, and love every aspect of the game and I have always known that hockey was my passion. Unfortunately being a 5'5" female, however, would not grant me a place in the show. The next best thing would be writing and hopefully someday becoming a rink-side NHL reporter. My past reporting experience includes work with ESPNU Campus Connection, WHDH Channel 7 Boston, and Madison Square Garden Network. I am currently a sports broadcasting major at Boston College. Twitter: @kaitEsull
Kaitlin Sullivan

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