Tortorella and Drury disagree on Rangers' maturity

Chris Drury isn’t known as someone who says things just to stir the
pot. So when he calls out his teammates and his team, chances are
there’s some truth and meaning behind his words.
From Dan Martin of the New York Post:

“Immaturity,” he said. “We’d better grow up fast or we’re
going to be watching [the playoffs].”

This was Drury’s statement when asked what the reason was behind a
disappointing effort in a 3-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens. The
Rangers are fighting for a playoff spot, and as they chase the Boston
Bruins every point becomes more and more important. Are the Rangers
immature? Well, their incosistent play and failure to rise to the
occasion certainly leans in that direction.

John Tortorella is quick to shoot that notion down, however.

“I think that’s the wrong word to use by [Drury],”
Tortorella said following a short practice in advance of tonight’s game
against St. Louis at the Garden (7:00; MSG, ESPN 1050 AM). “We’ve ironed
that out in the locker room.”

The Rangers are facing
a critical juncture in their fight for a playoff spot, as they have a
good chance at pulling within a point of the Bruins prior to Sunday’s
showdown. They could also fall five points back tonight, if they are
unable to beat the St. Louis Blues tonight. Winning is the only option
tonight, as a crucial two points is important in just keeping up with
the Bruins.

Maturity? Well, that will be tested tonight. The Blues
are a beatable team, but they’re no pushover. If the Rangers consider
themselves playoff contenders, then tonight’s game should be the most
important game of the season.

Of course, the game against Montreal was the most important game of the season and the Rangers didn’t exactly rise to the occasion then. Perhaps if the Rangers keep coming out flat in big games, falling even further behind the Bruins for 8th place, then Torts won’t keep squashing the public thoughts of his team captain.

Glencross released from another PTO, this time by Avs

Washington Capitals v Ottawa Senators
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Curtis Glencross’ hard-luck preseason continued on Monday, as the Avalanche announced they released him from his training camp tryout.

Glencross had previously been cut from Toronto’s camp, which he described as “kind of a shock” move. Following that release, the 32-year-old quickly shifted to Colorado but arrived fairly late in the overall process, and only got a bit of exposure before being let go.

While some thought yesterday’s trade of Freddie Hamilton to Calgary may have opened up a spot for Glencross, the Avs now appear to be going in a different direction.

A two-time 20-goal scorer that netted 13 in 71 games last year, it’s unclear what lies ahead for Glencross.

Slepyshev earns final Oilers roster spot; Draisaitl to AHL

Anton Slepyshev, Anton Lander
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The Edmonton Oilers have assigned center Leon Draisaitl to AHL Bakersfield.

The demotion of Draisaitl, 19, means 21-year-old rookie Anton Slepyshev has made the opening-day roster after scoring twice and adding two assists in exhibition action.

The Oilers experimented during the preseason with Draisaitl, a natural center, on the wing. He didn’t have a particularly poor camp, finishing with one goal and three assists in six games.

But Slepyshev apparently impressed more.

“He’s a young player but he’s played pro hockey before,” coach Todd McLellan told the Edmonton Journal. “You can see it.”

Slepyshev played 58 games in the KHL last season, scoring 15 goals for Salavat Yulaev Ufa.