Somewhere, Sean Avery is smiling this morning. Despite his six-game suspension for behavior detrimental to the NHL, his cloudy future with the Dallas Stars and the deluge of old stories about his shocking language, Avery learned two truths last night from Madison Square Garden: That he's still on the minds of New York Rangers fans, and that he's saddled Dion Phaneuf with perhaps a permanent taunt for the duration of his career --- or, at the very least, his relationship with Elisha Cuthbert.
Derek Felix of Battle of NY writes that Rangers fans chanted "sloppy seconds" after Phaneuf's name was announced as an assist on Jarome Iginla's eventual game-winner against New York last night. Felix believes it's a combination of razzing Phaneuf and protesting the NHL's suspension of the once-beloved former Rangers pest:
We bet the league must've loved the fans' reaction following the six-game suspension to Avery along with a mandated anger management course. Only those who never covered the sport would applaud such classic overreaction which is why it was fitting to hear the chant come up about Phaneuf's current squeeze Cuthbert.
A little over two minutes later, the NHL All-Star defenseman was guilty of an elbowing minor continuing to get the brunt of it with some fans even chanting, "Avery. Avery. Avery."
So is this now Dion's lot in life when playing in hostile arenas? Or will chanting "sloppy seconds" with Phaneuf in the building just be exclusive to the good fans who gave the world "Potvin Sucks!" and other chants?
Incidentally, that wasn't even the best bit of comedy to emerge from the MSG seats last night. Scotty Hockey reports that "during one of the four power plays that the Rangers blew, from someone in the section next to me: 'We need Plaxico on this team! At least you know he shoots!'" Awesome.
So now that they're done chanting about Phuthbert, will Rangers fans focus their vocal abilities on another target? Say, "Fire Renney?"