Rangers lose Callahan for playoffs

 

New York Rangers’ coach, John Tortorella, is trying to remain optimistic after losing, arguably,  his best player in two way forward, Ryan Callahan. This 26 year-old who, with 23 goals, was in the middle of his best season, showed some true heart and guts when, late in the third period of a 5-3 win against the Boston Bruins, he broke his right leg blocking a Zdeno Chara slap shot. Callahan, who ranks fifth this season with 77 blocks, also paid the price back on December 15, when he missed 19 games due to a broken hand, which he sustained blocking a shot from Pittsburgh Penguins’ defenceman, Kris Letang. “It’s been going on all year long. Guys have stepped up,” Tortorella said about all the injuries. “We’ll handle it. They’re used to it and we’ll be fine.” The Rangers are in a dogfight with the Buffalo Sabres for the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. They have lost key players such as defenceman, Marc Stall, and forwards Marian Gaborik, Erik Christensen, Vinny Prospal, Chris Drury, Brandon Dubinsky, Alex Frolov and Ruslan Fedotenko, for long stretches during the year. To his credit Chara expressed some concern and strong praise for Callahan while wishing him well.

Rangers lose Callahan to fractured leg

Tuesday, 04.05.2011 / 1:36 PM / News
By Dave Lozo  – NHL.com Staff Writer
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Just hours after their biggest win of the season, the New York Rangers received crushing news about, perhaps, their most important player.

Forward, Ryan Callahan, is out …long term … after fracturing his right leg during Monday’s 5-3 comeback win against the Boston Bruins at Madison Square Garden. Callahan suffered the injury blocking a shot by defenseman, Zdeno Chara, with 1:45 left in the third period, and did not return.

After Tuesday’s optional practice, coach, Tortorella, confirmed the injury and said Callahan will be “out indefinitely.”

“You keep moving on and play,” Tortorella said. “Someone fills in … someone takes responsibility. You keep on playing.”

It’s the second major injury suffered by Callahan this season as a result of blocking a shot.

He broke his hand after absorbing a shot from Pittsburgh Penguins‘ defenseman, Kris Letang on Dec. 15, and missed 19 games.

Callahan ranks fifth in the NHL among forwards with 77 blocks, which is 8 fewer than League leader and teammate, Brian Boyle. He has played in just 60 games, compared to Boyle’s 80. The Rangers are second in the NHL in blocks with 672.

To his credit, Chara expressed remorse over the injury Tuesday.

Ryan Callahan
Right Wing – NYR
GOALS: 23 | ASST: 25 | PTS: 48
SOG: 179 | +/-: -7

// “Callahan is a top-six guy, yet he still plays with so much heart and grit. You don’t see many guys that throw their bodies around to block shots like that,” Chara said.“He plays the game so hard. You have to respect a guy like that. I heard after the game that he’d probably broken a bone, so I just hope that he’s okay long term.” One thing is for sure and that’s that, no matter what Tortorella says, the Rangers chances of a surprise play-off run just got even smaller with the absence of Callahan, who can score and play strong defence.

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