Oh, and sorry for my lack of posting recently, I've been busy.
I was thinking about this last night, as a matter of fact, wouldn't it be interesting if Chris Neil faced off against Sean Avery?
Actually, no, have you realized the similarity between these players.
Their styles of play are both the same, if not nearly identical.
They both can score, although Avery had 20 more points than Neil this season (and most of those came after he was dealt to the Rangers) and are probably the most annoying players any team can face?
Yes, but you'll counter that Avery's more popular.
True, Avery is the more popular one, but consider these career stats.
Avery and Neil had virtually the same number of penalty minutes, and are up there in certain career stats, heck, Neil is +41 and Avery +6!
Sean Avery (NYR) : 322 GP, 50 G, 80 A, 184 P, +6, 913 PIM, 8 GWG, 20 PPG, .077 %
Chris Neil (OTT): 383 GP, 52 G, 52 A, 104 P, +41, 953 PIM, 4 GWG, 12 PPG, .113 %
At a glance, you can see that Avery is the superior offensive player, even if Neil has more career goals.
Avery's the better playmaker, as 30 of his 48 points were assists, 18 of them goals.
Neil and Avery alike, can play on the powerplay and are efficient in making Ryan Smyth like plays by bothering goalies.
Neil actually has nearly 200 less shots than Avery in his career, and he's played 61 more games!
That tells you something else: Avery's been on a scoring line his entire career, especially with the Kings.
Neil's essentially been a 3rd-4th line winger with a surplus of ice-time in the past few seasons, more than a checking player usually gets.
What else does that stat tell you?
The .113% versus Avery's .077% also indicates that Neil has the better shooting percentage, and that he could potentially have done more damage had he shot more than he does now.
But he can't shoot more if he's not a top 6 forward.
Neil and Avery are both players you want on your team, they may have, according to some ignorant fans, cheap-shotted your favourite players or called your goalie names, but that's what you need in the new NHL: an enforcer than can be a top-6 forward with more than just limited physical ability.
Scoring ability counts in the new NHL, and that's why players like Aaron Downey are becoming a rare commodity that teams don't need to bother with.
Oh, and we must not forget their fights so far this year.
Avery has fought 4 times, and has been declared winner 3 of the 4 (he took a nice little beating courtesy of Ian Laperierre and all this courtesy of hockeyfights.com); Neil has been involved in a more controversial situation this year, it came against the Buffalo Sabres when he upped Chris Drury, who had his head turned away at full speed.
Drury, the Sabres' captain, was laying on the ice with blood dripping from his face.
Stafford dropped the gloves and went at it with Neil and there was a whole "Slap-Shot" like scum, with the crop of the fight arriving once Martin Biron and Ray Emery exchanged a few punches.
Neil fought twice against the Canadiens this season, one that you can't really call a fight in which Neil and then-Hab Aaron Downey dropped the gloves and just circled at centre ice, this was early in the year.
Mike Komisarek got into a little scum with Neil as well, but the refs didn't really let them go...too bad, Komi would've kicked some Senators butt!
Oh, but, it may be to Neil's account here that this is unfair, but Avery wins this one for me, even if he wasn't drafted, because he was able to draft certain Elisha Cuthbert into his life.
The Rangers trail the Sabres 2-1, and I have yet to see how Avery will punish the Sabres like he promised, the Sens shut out the Devils yesterday to take a 2-1 lead in their series against New Jersey.
Even if they do meet later on, highly doubtful though (sorry Rangers fans), Neil would never play against Sean Avery, unless Avery wants to give TSN SportsCentre a new topic for their "Top 10" feature.
And to finish this off:
Chris Neil/Sens vs. Drew Stafford/Sabres
Sean Avery vs. Darcy Tucker
Tonight's Sabres-Rangers game should be interesting, as Lindy Ruff (who went overboard at the end of Game 2) promised it will be dirty.
Hope the 'Nucks win, so I can take a lead in my local hockey pool (no, not the blogger one )