Much ado about nothing is an apt description of the breathless build-up to the first Sean Avery-Martin Brodeur, Rangers-Devils battle since last season's playoffs. Avery did not talk to the media Saturday, Sunday and this morning.
And he smartly did not add any fuel to the fire in his post-game comments. (By the way, keep in mind this was a big media scrum and I didn't ask all the questions, certainly not the obvious ones).
On not fighting with David Clarkson in the third period: "It's a 3-0 game at that point. I don't think that there's anything to gain by doing anything at that point."
On whether it took discipline for him not to fight: "It certainly takes discipline, for sure."
On why he didn't want to fight Clarkson: "You fight for your team and for your teammates. At that point, I didn't need to fight for either of them, so there's really no point."
On being angry he received a roughing call anyway: "I don't really know what happened there. There's a lot going on in a big scrum. We came out with a power play so that's a good thing."
On what he thinks his impact on the game was: "I'll let you guys decide that."
On facing the Devils/Brodeur: "I know there's a lot of anticipation beforehand, for sure, and I just went into it the same I have for a lot of games. Just trying to get focused and knowing what I have to do and knowing what Torts expects of me.".
Were the Devils trying to run him: "(Laughing) Yeah."
Does he notice a pattern of teams doing that: "A little bit.
How he responds when that happens: "I think about a happy place."
On his reaction to his coaches and teammates complaining after Saturday's loss at Pittsburgh he's not being protected well enough by the on-ice officials: "Obviously, we're a family here. We go to bat for each other that's what makes a team. I know we'd do it for anybody and it just happens to me in this case and that's a good thing."
On how close Brodeur's stick came to his face in the first period: "It hit me. You just deal with it."
Does he agree with his coaches and teammates that he's not being protected by the on-ice officials: "I don't know."
On the Rangers' team play in general: "It was a big time game by ius. We showed the patience, kind of like the Minnesota game but we got on the forecheck a little bit more and had a little bit more jump. It was definitely a good game by Blue tonight."