Chris Drury isn’t the kind of leader that is outspoken and vocal. He leads by example, and that often gets his intangibles overlooked. But like other captains of that nature, Drury picks his spots, and he picked a good one last night.
Following the Rangers 3-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens, they now sit three points behind the Boston Bruins in the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference, and the Rangers have played one more game than the Bruins have.
Fueled by his frustration, Drury laid down the bottom line. This from the NY Daily News:
“Again, it’s consistency. It’s so obvious how we have to play and see how successful we can be with it, and it just again, it bites us in the ass. We’re just not consistent with it. What we did well against Philly was the opposite end of the spectrum tonight.
Why that consistency is not there, a seething Drury said: “It’s immaturity. That’s what it’s been all year.”
Joe McDonald of NY Sports Day had Drury elaborate. When asked what can be done about it, Drury snapped:
‘”Grow up real fast, in the last 12 or 13 games or whatever the hell we have left, or we will be watching playoff hockey.” Then as the television cameras came over, the Ranger captain ended the interview.
‘Although he spoke for only about a minute, his words were as sharp as anytime during his three year tenure on Broadway. This team is very immature and is only in the playoff hunt because they have one of the top five goaltenders in the league.’
The Rangers were supposed to play like a team that was desperate for two points; they were supposed to fight, scratch, and claw their way to a win. Whatever it took, after 60 minutes they would come away with two points – that was the kind of mentality they needed to have. Instead, they were lifeless. In a must-win game, they managed 20 shots on goal; that’s it. Jody Shelley, an enforcer, registered two shots; Marian Gaborik only one; Ryan Callahan none. Something is wrong with that picture. They spoiled yet another terrific performance by goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who is now the only reason I have faith of this team making the playoffs.
Tuesday’s game was more of the same for the Rangers. This season they have often followed up games in which they give a good, team-effort with a lackluster performance the next night. Each game is more than ‘just a playoff game’ now – it’s more like a game 7, life and death. The Rangers next game is Thursday night against the St. Louis Blues at MSG, concluding a three-game homestand. St. Louis is one of the hottest teams in the League right now, and all year they have consistently been one of the NHL’s beat road teams. Following Thursday night’s matchup, the Rangers will play 8 of their last 11 games away from home.
If this team doesn’t grow up within their next couple games, The Garden will be dark come April.
Photo credit: NYDailyNews.com