The Martin Brodeur-Sean Avery angle never really materialized during tonight's game. Avery was in front of Brodeur trying to screen him during a Rangers' first period power play, but nothing really materialized from that.
In fact, Brodeur said Avery never spoke to him tonight, which was a contract from past meetings when Avery made comments about Brodeur's personal life.
"He was just in front of me," Brodeur said. "That's just battling. That's normal. I just wanted to get my space. He was all right. He didn't do much. He didn't say a word to me."
Some seemed to think that Avery was a significant factor in this game. I thought he played a decent game. He made a good play on the Rangers' third goal and was active all night. He had a good hit on Johnny Oduya in the third period.
He didn't play a major role, though
The stuff that happened in the third period with David Clarkson and Mike Rupp came after the game was decided, so that was not a factor in the outcome.
Here's some explanations from the Devils on their various run-ins with Avery over the night.
**Avery asked defenseman Mike Mottau to fight in the first period, but had no interest when Mottau accepted later.
"The first time was right after the shot," Mottau said. "He shook his gloves and I was at the end of a shift and then the refs got in there. I said I'd fight him the next shift and after the TV timeout we lined up next to one another and he wouldn't fight me."
**In the third period Clarkson dragged Avery out a group tussle and tried to get him to fight. I initially thought Avery didn't deserve the roughing penalty he received, but Clarkson said Avery had dropped one of his gloves. One of the photographers here confirmed that he had a photo of Avery during that incident in which one of his gloves off and his hand balled in a fist, He never threw a punch, though.
"I was just trying to spark the guys,” Clarkson said. “He had one glove thrown down and he had his fist cocked back, so that’s kind of why. I’m trying to spark the team and he had his one hand cocked back in a fist. I don’t know how. Say he throws a punch and hits me. I’m the guy that loses.”
Clarkson received a double minor for roughing and a 10-monute misconduct from the incident.
"I sure they didn't want me to go after him again, so the kicked me out," Clarkson said.
***Rupp received a roughing penalty for kind of dragging Avery down after a check with with 17;2 seconds left in the game.
"I just wanted to finish me hit," Rupp said. "I don't know if someone threw something from the stands and hit him and knocked him down, but he went down pretty easy."
There was one incident that didn't involve Avery, but he played a role in it. That was the second period wrestling match between Bobby Holik and Scott Gomez.
Holik said he didn't know it was Gomez he was tussling with at first.
"To be honest with you, I thought it was Avery," he said laughing.
When did he realize it was Gomez?
"When I threw him around like a rag doll," he said.
He then admitted, "No I think he stepped on his stick."
"I had no idea who it was," Holik said. "I had no idea who it was. I was trying to poke at the puck and somebody came and you know I don’t discriminate.”
Did Gomez say anything?
"Well, he apologized," Holik said. "No, he didn't say anything."
Did Holik say anything to Gomez?
"Yeah, I said, 'Don't do it again'," Holik said.
Gomez and Holik are still friends from their time as teammates with the Devils and shared a laugh about the incident in the hallway between locker rooms long after the game was over.