On a runway model or an Upper East Side debutante, black nail polish might seem a nod to vampy elegance. On a professional hockey player — even one balancing rock shrimp tempura on chopsticks, as Sean Avery, a left wing for the New York Rangers, was doing on a recent Monday night — the look is a little more menacing.
“It’s my fighting hand,” Mr. Avery, 27, said over dinner at Nobu Next Door. Traded to the Rangers from the Los Angeles Kings in February, he was explaining how he paints his nails to intimidate opponents before he tussles on the ice. And being feisty and hot-headed, that’s often.