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Tuesday April 5, 2011 7:37 pm

New York Rangers lose Ryan Callahan with fractured ankle

Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, Injuries, NHL, Playoffs,

Ryan CallahanEverybody knows that Zdeno Chara has the hardest shot in the NHL, but nobody knows that more right now that Ryan Callahan of the New York Rangers. After blocking a Chara blast in Monday’s 5-3 comeback win against the Boston Bruins, Callahan left the game and it was later confirmed that he fractured his ankle on the play and is out indefinitely. Chances are Callahan won’t be back, regardless how long the Rangers playoff run extends.

Callahan embodies the entire philosophy of the Rangers this season – the selfless, team-first mentality – and his injury is in no small way metaphorically significant when it comes to the entire roster as a whole. Losing Callahan is like the team breaking its collective leg. A successful run through four rounds of playoffs has become that much more unlikely for the team struggling to hold onto one of the final three seeds in the Eastern Conference.

As a top-six forward, Callahan is fifth in the NHL with 77 blocked shots and also has a career-high 23 goals and 48 points this year, despite being limited to 60 games this season due to an earlier hand injury. He’s averaged 19:54 of ice-time, which puts him 27th among all NHL forwards. His presence and production will be hard to fill and easy to miss as the Rangers embark on their latest playoff run.

The Rangers haven’t advanced past the second round since the 1996-97 season. With two games left, the Rangers have almost secured their entry into the postseason, but even going 7-2-1 in their last 10 games, they’re hardly playing much better than those chasing them. Losing Callahan casts a huge shadow over the rest of the players, who better find somebody to step up sooner rather than later or else it might be another quick exit.



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