Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The NYR Facts Of Life: #24 Ryan Callahan

For each player who suited up in a Blueshirt this season we will take the good, we will take the bad and take them both and see what we have. What we have here is many folks' favourite Ranger, #24 Ryan Callahan.

#24's #s: 77 games, 19 goals (9 ppg), 18 assists (11 ppa), -12, 48 PIM.

Take the good: Callahan earned his second straight Steven McDonald Extra Effort and for good cause - no matter the situation, no matter the date, no matter the opponent he skated his ass off. Cally had 285 hits - third in the NHL behind Cal Clutterbuck and Dustin Brown - along with 81 blocked shots while playing in all situations. He had just two fights this season but one he was standing up for himself and the other he was standing up for teammates.

Take the bad: As the season began, we actually expected Callahan to be a better scorer than last season, not worse. He had three less goals (and three less points) in four fewer games while going one span of 18 games with just one goal and another with one over 14. Cally seemed just as snakebitten as Chris Higgins and yet he was allowed off the hook, perhaps because Higgins had the game on his stick a few times where Cally did not. Callahan had six games where he didn't manage a single shot, four of which came after the Olympic break. His knee injury was not his fault but his absence in the last game of the season definitely qualifies as 'bad'.

Take them both and then we have: A 25 year old who has hopefully not plateaued in terms of his on-ice development. You'd like to hope that the game he had in January against the Habs where he had two goals, two assists and seven shots showed that he is capable of better and bigger things but that may have just been a good night. At the same time, Callahan took on part of the leadership mantle with an A and that had to have had an impact on his play - and likely with these Rangers and the season that they had, it was a negative impact at that. What he learned from it and what he does next year (a contract season) should really let us know what we have.

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