Chris Drury(notes) isn't the rah-rah, Reggie Dunlop kind of leader. He's the quiet guy to the point where his intangibles are often overlooked (and that contract doesn't help). But like other captains of that temperament, he picks his spots; and he picked one last night.
After the New York Rangers' 3-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens, they sit three points in back of the Boston Bruins, having played one more game than the Bruins have. Sports Club Stats calculates that the Rangers have a 15 percent chance of earning the final playoff seed and a 30 percent chance of finishing ninth.
So Drury threw down the gauntlet, fueled by frustration. 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."
I 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.
McDonald goes on to claim that the immaturity trickles down from the top, citing John Tororella's contentious relationship with local media. It's hard to determine how personal feelings about Tortorella's temperament play into the analysis of some Rangers scribes, but that's what McDonald believes and he's not alone in seeing that cause and effect.
Maybe Drury's words will inspire the desperation hockey that Scotty Hockey can't believe was missing from last night's effort. There's still time for the Rangers, with the March and April schedule they have, to slip into the eighth seed. But eighth or ninth, one gets the sense that this is another Glen Sather team that's just good enough to fail and not bad enough to earn a high lottery pick -- coached by a firebrand who's wearing out, if not having worn out, his welcome for many Rangers observers.