He's actually making great plays from behind the net after a good forecheck as opposed to just working hard behind the net and then flopping around on the ice and losing the puck like much of last year.
I've been kind of worried about Avery. For the fun of it I watched a old game when Avery-Dubi-JJ was paired, and it really stood out how much Avery struggled last season.
He started strong right of the bat this season, but he still seems a little heavy on his skates. Like he sticks out in a odd way when he is on the ice on most shifts. Like he comes in from strange angles on the forecheck, often he crashes the net like 10 seconds after the puck was there et c et c et c. Back then he was more of a normal player who was at the right place at the right time.
Avery has stepped up his game completely since last season. He has really good hockey skills and his assist on Stepan´s Hatty (i think it was his 3rd goal) was tremendous too. Hope he can play this way the whole season.
I agree avery looks like he has a weight taken off his shoulders with torts not breathing down his neck. I don't think I'm getting ahead of myself saying if anisimovs injury is serious I wouldn't mind avery-dubi-cali. I think they'd play a he'll of a behind the net game wether it's dubi or avery dishing it from behind and the wingers crashed like the first goal last night. But im still hoping anisimovs not hurt bad.
The old "throw it out front from behind the net" play is a Detroit set play that Avery used successfully when Shanny was here with him.
The reason it hasn't been more successful is that you gotta have someone in front of the net anticipating this play and waiting to shoot the puck.
That calls for lines to be kept together for more then 30 seconds per game. It calls for players who know what to expect from their linemates. It means you have to have a couple of guys out front of the net instead of three forwards chasing the puck behind the goal line. It means you have to have a defenseman that is able to read the play, pinch and be willing to shoot the puck.
He's easily been one of the best Rangers on the ice night in and night out this season. I'd like to see him play a little bit more edgy, while also keeping his hockey play at a high level. But I'm very happy with the way he is playing right now. The guy is a legit hockey player.
There was a time when Darcy Tucker hit his peak just before leaving Tampa as a Captain and being and Assistant in Toronto, where he was not just his typical aggitating self, but also a depth scorer helping Toronto to one of their better teams of late when they battled NJ in the playoffs for a few years in the 1st half of the 2000's.
Hopefully we reap the rewards of a mature Avery who is possibly hitting his peak now and "getting it" after the growing pains we went through along with the other teams that gave up on him.
Now, I'm not blind to the fact that he has shown more then flashes of being just a gimick player, that shoot out goal last year was a very difficult angle and he waited out the goalie like a pro.
IMO, every player has a peak, where all his tools just come together and the mind & body are one. I'm just saying maybe we are seeing it happen after a few years here of wondering if it ever would.
Avery has been solid. When he focuses on playing hockey, he's a pretty effective player. He's skating hard, and getting creative in the offensive zone. I recall hearing Torts praise Avery's conditioning. He's in fantastic shape and it's showing, imo.
He always was a good playmaker. The problem is his terrible shot accuracy.
This is the only thing i can hold against him so far this year. Every time he shoots the puck its either right into the goalies glove or its way wide. On more than a few occasions this year he had the puck and shot it high, for an easy save, when he had guys breaking to the net. A low shot in those situations is better because there is more chance of a rebound.