Well, it appears that the 2nd honeymoon between Sean Avery and the New York Rangers is officially over. After a brutal finish to game 4 that saw Avery take two dumb penalties when his team was clinging to a late third period lead the league's biggest antagonist is going to sit out tonight's game to think about his actions.
Following the game Rangers' coach John Tortorella refused to discuss Avery and the penalties he took, but TV cameras caught him staring daggers at Avery on the ice after Avery took the second penalty late in the 3rd period. Though many hockey fans asserted that Avery should be sat out, it still comes as something of a surprise that Tortorella took him out of the lineup.
However, when you think about it, Avery hasn't exactly been a force for the Rangers in the series. Sure, he has arguably been the team's best forechecker and has thrown a number of punishing hits, but he has yet to register a single point in the series, and has earned 24 minutes in penalties in just 4 games so far.
So, will Avery be back for game 6 if there is one? Logic would dictate that he will, and this temporary banishment is intended to send a message. And if there is a game 6 that would mean that the Rangers lost without Avery. But what if they win? Will Avery start game of the next series which would take place against original six rival Boston Bruins? Again, the answer is most likely, but John Tortorella is as unpredictable as he is ornery, so you never really know. In the meantime Avery will have plenty of time to think about his actions...again.