Leading up to the Rangers/Sharks game Monday night, there had been a huge divide between Rangers fans on recalling Sean Avery. You had the one side that felt his antics have become tiresome, while the his cult-like followers felt he will add a much needed spark to a lifeless Rangers squad. Full disclosure, I am a card carrying member of the #AveryArmy.
Most of the Avery fans solely blame John Tortorella for neutering “The Grate One” rendering him a shell of his former in-your-face self. The anti-Avery crowd obviously differs, saying Avery made his own bed in Dallas and hasn’t been the same since.
Meanwhile, Tortorella has created his own fracture between Rangers fans as the constant line juggling and lack of playoff success is wearing thin on some, while the Torts supporter points to the change of culture he brought to the Rangers, who are now trying to build a winner from within not through free agency. You know, except for that minor Brad Richards signing. 😉
But then something happened Monday night after Torts finally found the right line combinations and the Rangers put together their first complete effort of the season in a 5-2 whitewash of the Sharks. Joe Thornton called the Rangers soft.
The second he did that, Rangers fans, who have been bickering with each other since Avery was assigned to the Whale over a month ago, pulled together and directed their venom towards Mr. Thornton. You see, us Rangers fans might fight like a dysfunctional family, but if someone outside of our circle takes a shot at our team watch out.
Then yesterday with Rangers fans still giddy about our trashing of Thornton, Avery cleared waivers and miraculously I witnessed some of the biggest Avery hating Blueshirts fans welcoming the lightning rod back with open arms.
And the final repair came later that afternoon when Torts did this…
To watch on YouTube click here.
Now that’s the Torts I remember. Even the biggest detractors of the Rangers head coach had a smile on their face. That was the guy we were all excited the Rangers got two and half years ago. And yesterday we all celebrated this dismantling of Thornton by Torts together.
So in 48 hours Rangers fans went from at each others throats to an almost Kumbayah atmosphere.
To that, all I have to say is thank you Joe Thornton.