Sean Avery, who was demoted to the AHL Whale on Oct. 4 and was recalled after clearing waivers Tuesday, practiced today but won't be in the lineup when the Rangers host the Ducks tomorrow night.
"Same lineup," as sent out in the 5-2 defeat of the Sharks, coach John Tortorella said, although did not specify his choice of goaltender.
"This is the same situation as any other player being brought up and we want to conduct it that way," said Tortorella. "I think that's what fair to Sean is to let's conduct our business. He hasn't practiced a whole bunch here (and hadn't skated for three days), and we'll run it like we always do." He answered "no", when asked if there were fences to mend.
"I know there's people as far as fans and media, they have their favorite players and they have players they want to grind on," said Tortorella. "It doesn't matter either way to me, it's not going to change my decision-making. It's not going to happen that way; you can't run a business that way."
At his old locker, Avery slipped on an NYPD cap and accepted his new start. "I was happy to have a good practice. I haven't skated, because of re-entry waivers, for a couple days," he said. "and really the guys played pretty good last game and had a big win, so really, I wouldn't change the lineup."
He said: "I love playing for this team, I'm excited to play in the new building...I love every game I've ever played for this team. I just want to play as hard as I possibly can. I try to play as fast as I can. I bring whatever is going to be asked of me at this point...I'm not changing anything."
As for coming back to the NHL so soon, after two AHL games: "Listen, I've had a lot of things happen to me over my career. I never rule anything out as far as decisions that are out of your control, all you can do is work hard and stay positive....I'm not looking back and gauging my surprise level."
Asked if he could rationalize the events of the past month, he grinned and told an NHL.com reporter: "I don't think you could understand my way of rationalizing anything."
Henrik Lundqvist, surveying the larger-than-normal media contingent, understands that this minor-league callup is different: "It brings more attention to it when it's Sean Avery," said Lundqvist of his close friend and co-investor in a downtown restaurant. "It feels more normal (when Avery is here). I'm used to seeing him the past few years."