Is there ever a case when an injury might be a blessing for a team? With all the negativity surrounding Rangers' (invisible) captain Chris Drury -- between the money he makes and his dramatic decline in production -- some might find the latest reports that he "probably won't make the (road) trip" because of a bum knee as very exciting news. John Tortorella has already said that Erik Christensen, who had been sidelined with an MCL sprain, will replace Drury in the lineup.
John Tortorella to the NY Post:
"It's just progressively getting worse. So he probably won't even be on the trip. He's at the doctor now," Tortorella said after practice Friday. "This has gone on for a little bit for him now, for the past few weeks. It flared up again last night (in a 3-2 loss to the Devils). So we just decided to keep him off the ice."
Rangers play at Montreal tomorrow at 2 p.m. ET, then travel to Detroit Feb. 5 and Atlanta Feb. 11. No word yet on exactly how long the captain will be out.
Drury has played 23 games this year after twice dealing with a broken finger and has four points, all assists. Against the Devils, he tallied just 8:43 in ice time, with only two shifts in the third period. Relegated to the fourth line/penalty killer, and someone Tortorella uses for key faceoffs, Drury has been pretty much invisible all year. Without the "C" emblazoned on his chest, many believe that if/when the Rangers get fully healthy, he should be the odd-man out. Instead, now it looks like the injury will be the cause of him sitting out at least a few games. Don't expect the Blueshirts to rush him back.
Christensen (six goals, eight assists in 37 games) adds a creative offensive player to the Rangers' mix -- and even though he has been very hot and cold during his Rangers' tenure, his reinsertion back into the lineup is a welcome sight, especially over Drury. He practiced today with Mats Zuccarello and Sean Avery, but it is unclear whether those will be the lines for tomorrow's game against Montreal. Expect him to see some power play time as well.