Is the Avery Benching a sign of a divided team?
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03-13-2010, 05:38 PM
Heart and Soul
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Originally Posted by
I mean I guess...but that doesn't explain why from time to time we see glimmers of his old self. His efforts have just been very inconsistent.
I still see effort. I just think he's confused. He's confused because he's not exactly sure how much of his real game he should be playing. He's confused because, like everyone else on this team, he either has no clear role/niche, or is playing in the wrong one.
As coach, Tortorella faces the same problem. Because the team is poorly built, he is forced to play Avery and everyone else out of role. And while he knows how effective Avery can be, he too is probably finding it difficult to quantify just how close to the line Avery should be playing.
I'm willing to bet Tortorella would love for Avery to be the Avery of old, but he's probably just as afraid of what that could lead to for Avery, and the team in general, as Avery himself is.
What is unfortunately lost in everything else that surrounds Avery is that he's actually a really smart player in terms of positioning and instincts. Yes, his aggression/adrenaline can overpower his brains at times and cause him to do stupid things, but if you watch him throughout his career, he's got a lot of hockey IQ. But this season, it hasn't been as evident, and I think it's because he's not exactly sure what he should be doing. And I'm not sure you can totally blame Johnny Cakes for that, because if I was in his position, I'm not sure how I'd explain it to Avery, either.
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