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Avery: "It's The Playoffs, Bro"

Mike Green and Sean Avery exchange pleasantries. (By Evan Vucci - AP)

The two players it was impossible to stop watching tonight were Alex Ovechkin and Sean Avery. Ovechkin, for obvious reasons: every time he intercepts the puck and swoops toward the net, the crowd inhales. Heck, Avery for obvious reasons too, though the crowd response is slightly different. Dread, in some corners of the arena.

For all the talk this week of ignoring him and his duffel-bag full of antics, thereby turning his act into a one-man show....well, a few Caps seemed to notice his presence. There was no shortage of chirping, including when he picked up a silly holding penalty in the first.

"I didn't know, was he out there?" Bruce Boudreau deadpanned during a quiet and somber press conference.

Boudreau was also asked about the Scott Gomez goal which tied the game at 1; Avery had gotten tangled up with Mike Green at the blue line while Gomez got free. Boudreau was asked whether he was surprised nothing was called; "yes," he said. "Yes, I was surprised."

"They kind of tripped me up," Green said, "but unfortunately the refs didn't see it, and that's the way it is in the playoffs."

Green seemed a particular target of Avery's affections; the two got tangled up repeatedly, including once near the end of the third, when Green's skate seemed to clip Avery's ear during contact near the Rangers bench.

"Yeah, sure," Green said, when asked if Avery was targeting him. "I felt like that, too. But I liked it. It makes me play stronger."

Avery was in a hurry to get out of the Rangers' locker room, and talked only briefly with reporters. There was blood streaming down the outside of his ear; he said he didn't know how he had been cut. He was asked about his various run-ins with the Caps; "it's the playoffs, bro," he said.

He was asked whether he had succeeded in annoying the Caps; "I don't know. I just played my game," he said.

He was asked whether he sensed any shakiness in Jose Theodore; "I just think we stuck to our game and played the way we were supposed to," he said.

And he was asked again whether he really had no idea what had happened to his bloody ear.

"No," he said. "You want to ask me again? Maybe I'll remember?"

Fans, by the way, also seemed to notice Avery.

By Dan Steinberg  |  April 15, 2009; 10:27 PM ET
Categories:  Caps  
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Next: Morning Bog: Torts Gets ID'd


Sign fail. The ' goes between the n and the t in the word, "doesn't"

Posted by: gandorfdapirate | April 16, 2009 12:16 AM | Report abuse

Ranger fan here. Hmm it looks like Green is Avery's target this series. They took Kovalchuk away in a straitjacket two years ago, but you only get to that pitch if the Rangers take control of the series.

The player Ranger fans fear, and the Caps don't seem to know what to do with him, is Nylander. He made our PP go when it was scary good two years ago. When he's allowed to play his meandering slow motion east-west game with guys who go with his flow, the guy is a magician. If you send him north-south in the passing gear, his effectiveness drops towards zero. But Tortorella took no chances. When the game was on the line he put out his shutdown checker Betts to mark him, not one of the kids.

Posted by: idov | April 16, 2009 7:20 AM | Report abuse

Green played like a pansy last night. It didn't even look like he was skating hard. Had he made a better effort to be in position, then Avery wouldn't have had the chance to trip him on Gomer's goal. Man up Mike Green. Drop your arrogance and play some hockey.

Posted by: tkelly29 | April 16, 2009 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Green looked scared at both ends of the ice last night. I haven't looked at the shot stats, but I'd be willing to say he did not shoot the puck ONCE. And for everything offensive he has done this season, for him not to shoot is just wrong.

I did notice that at the first break in play after Avery first seemed to get to Greenie, he was by the bench and it seemed as though guys like Backstrom and Ovie were trying to talk him down maybe?

Posted by: kikinguyen616 | April 16, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Nothing like being shoved into the opposition bench and being held there with no penalty call to lead to a good kick -- Green's skate to Avery's head. That's how his ear got cut.

Posted by: Grooven | April 16, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

I have no doubts the Caps will come back. But the Rangers are clearly no pushovers. For anyone to think we'd just run right thru them...well that notion got dispelled last night.

Can't help but to think how nice it would be to have The King on our team. You can dream, right?

But man oh man, Dubi undressing don't see that very often. I want to laugh but I can't :o(

Posted by: 1800DrWong | April 16, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Meh - Avery's right, it's playoff hockey - the Flyers ran at Huet every chance they got last year and that really rattled the Caps. Last night was a walk in the park in comparison.

Caps scored 3 quality goals last night, which needs to be enough to win playoff games. JT60 either needs to make the saves or be pulled for Varlamov.

Posted by: jhorstma | April 16, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

I think its hysterical that Avery seems to be the focus of the fans and media in this town. The ironic part is Avery is nothing more than a clone of the "heart and soul" of the Caps from years back Dale Hunter!

Posted by: caphcky | April 16, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

"Green looked scared at both ends of the ice last night. I haven't looked at the shot stats, but I'd be willing to say he did not shoot the puck ONCE."

What an ignorant comment. Green "scored" the first goal for the Caps, until they changed the ruling and gave it to Fleischman on the tip-in.

Posted by: Incredulous2 | April 17, 2009 8:00 AM | Report abuse

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