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
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.