The Rangers beat the Washington Capitals on Wednesday night in one of the better games I’ve seen in a while, in any sport. The Rangers took a 2-0 lead into the third period, but then Alex Ovechkin turned it on and almost singlehandedly took game 4. Ovechkin scored 2 minutes into the third, and rang another shot off the crossbar later on. He played nearly half the game, and had 11 shots on goal.
There were times in this game when one had to wonder how the Rangers were winning. They were completely dominated, outhustled, and outshot by a margin of 18. The biggest factor that has made them the winning team in 3 of the series’ first four games is Henrik Lundqvist. He was brilliant again and survived a few barrages late in the game that would’ve made even the great Martin Brodeur bitch and moan about contact.
The luckiest Ranger tonight, though, is Sean Avery. Avery had a meager 4 penalty minutes tonight. He is probably proud. He restrained himself from acting like a dumbass for a large portion of the game, but waited until the halfway point in the third with the Caps poised to tie the game. He then pulled an Avery-like move by smacking Milan Jurcina’s schnoz with the butt of his stick and the back of his glove and pretending like he didn’t mean it.
Some might say his reputation got this one called. I would agree. He is a douchebag, and he made a douchebag move, the refs called it. The Rangers survived the powerplay somehow. Ovechkin hit the crossbar and King Henrik made about 8 saves then Avery came back. He learned his lesson. Or did he?
Just 4 minutes after getting his freedom he decides to whack Brian Pothier (who sold this pretty poorly, but it was funny) with a high stick a couple seconds after play had stopped. He again, tries to sell to the refs that he is innocent, and heads off. John Tortorella looked like an embarrassed father who lost control of his kid at this point. Avery sat in the box, and thought about which young celebrity he would go after next (I actually have a lot of respect for him with respect to the top shelf ass he gets).
Luckily, Lundqvist saved him again, and the Rangers got away with a 3-1 advantage in the series. Maybe there’s a backstory. Maybe Pothier and Jurcina picked up Avery’s “sloppy seconds” like Dion Phaneuf and Mike Komisarek. I do not know, but it is difficult to get a penalty called against you in the playoffs, especially late in tight, big games. Avery managed to pull it off twice with blatant, pussy cheapshots.
Sean showed his true colors tonight. He is a goon, but not the protect the stars, and fight to pump up you team good goon. The hit guys behind the play and get a kick out of it goon. Its a shame, too because up to that point he had done a great job around the net creating chances for New York. Avery was a liability on the ice by the end of the game, and if the Rangers would have lost, he may have been done there, again.
But don’t worry there’s hope for goons after hockey. Matthew Barnaby proves it every night on Sportscenter. The heir apparent to Barry Melrose (whose mullet and salt and pepper facial hair rank him as the most dignified looking gentleman since Robert E. Lee), Barnaby makes it clear that he used to get his head bashed in every time he tries to describe a clip.
Avery, who is sort of the David Beckham of hockey (if Beckham went around goosing guys all over the pitch), has got to watch it for the rest of the playoffs. Everything he does is watched by the refs, and he can no longer get away with his signature cheapshots. Maybe he doesn’t care about hockey, if you had been linked to Elisha Cuthbert, Mary-Kate Olson, Lake Bell, and Rachel Hunter would you care? and those are just the celebrities. Imagine the amount of tail he pulled on random nights throughout Los Angeles, New York, all of Canada. This man is living the dream. I would take his sloppy seconds any day.