As the puck drops on the second round series between the Penguins and Rangers tonight, it will be interesting to see if Sean Avery attempts to mess with Pittsburgh puck stopper Marc-Andre Fleury in any unacceptable manner.

Avery pulled some unconventional stunts with New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur last round, but there’s reason to think he might stick to playing hockey this series.

First, Pens’ tough guy Georges Laraque is a punch-first-ask-questions-later kind of guy, who wouldn’t hesitate to take that approach with Avery if he feels the Rangers’ agitator is taking liberties with his goalie.


And then there’s Jarkko Ruutu who isn’t afraid to initiate some crease crashing of his own at the other end of the rink.

Given how much New York relies on Henrik Lundqvist, Avery can ill afford to put his keeper at risk by doing something stupid at the other end of the rink.

>> If Steve Nash and the Suns have any hope of coming back from a 2-0 deficit in their series with the Spurs, they’re in drastic need of tangible contributions from their role players.

Grant Hill was scoreless last game and has a total of five points in the series. Outside of Nash, Suns’ guards have shot a combined 13-of-36 through the first two games.

How is Mike D’Antoni supposed to give Nash, Shaq or Amare Stoudemire a break if he has absolutely no viable scoring options?

That said, I have a feeling the Suns luck will change tonight when they host the defending champs for Game 3 in the desert.
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