The Rangers might want to start putting some four-leaf clovers around the locker room. On Wednesday, New York Rangers coach John Tortorella announced that captain Chris Drury will undergo knee surgery and miss close to six weeks.
Drury has missed the past two games because he has needed fluid drained from this knee, and it has reached a point where he is unable to continue without surgery. Tortorella is unsure whether or not the 12-year veteran's injury will sideline him for the remainder of the season.
This is not the first time Drury has been out this season. He missed most of the beginning of the season with a broken finger, and has only played in 23 of the Rangers' 56 games this season. But even in these 23 games, Drury has not played like himself, only having four points and no goals.
Perhaps it is his age creeping up on him, or maybe it's this ailing left knee, or maybe it's a combination of both that is keeping the captain from performing the way he usually does.
Hopefully when (or if) Drury comes back after the surgery, he will be able to perform better and play a more critical role in the Ranger offense than being a fourth-line/penalty killer, which is what he has been for the time he has been on the ice this season.
But this is not news to the Rangers; Drury's injury is just another name on the large list of injuries the Rangers have had this year. With the addition of their captain missing a considerable amount of playing time, Ryan Callahan, Brandon Dubinsky, Vinny Prospal, Erik Christensen, Alex Frolov and Ruslan Fedotenko have also missed a large amount of games for the Rangers this season.
This has been a cause of their inconsistent play this season, as well as their inability to be one of the top contenders in the Eastern Conference. And now, just as the Rangers were starting to get everyone healthy again, Drury is injured once more.
Even though the injury to Drury is bad for the Rangers, they have more things to worry about. The Rangers thought everything would start to get better after the All-Star break; everyone was supposed to start coming back and the team would be healthy, reestablished and ready to make some noise in the Eastern Conference.
However, the Rangers have dropped three straight since the break on post shots that have just missed and lucky bounces that have not gone their way. As a result, the Rangers see themselves dwindling fast in the playoff race, now dropping to seventh in the conference and only three points ahead of the eighth place Carolina Hurricanes.
Now, the recent news of Drury's injury just adds another thing to the list of what has gone wrong this season for the Rangers.
With a critical game, although it is not a must-win, against the ninth place Atlanta Thrashers coming up this Friday (only four points behind the Rangers), the hapless Rangers need to start stringing together some wins otherwise they might be in the same situation they were last year—just missing the playoffs in the last game of the season.