January 17 Philadelphia Daily News:
“Lining up across from Sean Avery with just 11 minutes to play last night, Flyers forward Jody Shelley had to show restraint, like boys gazing at the popular girl at the high school prom.
“We had lots of guys that wanted to have a little dance with Avery,” coach Peter Laviolette said. “We had lots of guys that wanted to do it, but he just didn’t want to respond.”
Like that girl in high school who thinks she’s untouchable, Avery – the NHL’s fashionista diva – made sure he wasn’t assaulted in the third period. All talk, no walk.
A period earlier, Avery threw down his gloves with an unsuspecting victim – defenseman Matt Carle – and dropped him with four punches, including three of them that were landed after Carle hit the ice. Carle had never fought in his 5-year career.
“I don’t know if I’d really call that a fight,” Carle said. “I didn’t really know what was going on. I had my jersey wrapped over my head and the next thing I knew I was getting punched in the face and I was on the ice.”
“You’d like to settle it a different way,” said Shelley, the Flyers‘ enforcer. “I didn’t like the way it went down. But you know he’s going to try to suck you in. It was a 3-0 game and I didn’t want to take a penalty. It took a lot [of restraint].”
Shelley, like the Flyers, kept his composure – through the line brawl with Avery – and through the two goals the Rangers had scored in the third period to preserve a gutty, 3-2 road win at Madison Square Garden last night.
With the win, the Flyers improved to 12-1-1 against Atlantic Division rivals this season with their third straight victory over the Rangers since that epic shootout decided the Flyers‘ season last April 11.
Despite being pinned in their own defensive zone for more than 10 minutes of the final frame, the Flyers‘ determined attitude and willingness to block shots preserved the win.
“We were a little scrambly there,” Laviolette said. “We’re better than that defensively. I think we could’ve been tighter. But I thought the last 4 minutes, we tightened it down and did what we needed to do to get the win.”
The Flyers held a comfortable three-goal edge for almost the first half of the third period before going into an inadvertent “prevent” style defense that nearly cost them the game. They posted just three shots in the third period on Rangers goalie Marty Biron, the fewest they’ve had in any single period this season.”
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