Go Ahead, Make My Day

Dobber Sports

2009-04-23

 callahan

 

I know what you’re thinking: “did he fire six shots or only five?”  Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I’ve kinda lost track myself.  But this being an Easton Synergy SE16, the most powerful hockey stick in the world, and would explode in my hands if I were to cross-check you in the head, you’ve got to ask yourself one question:  “Do I feel lucky?”  Well do ya, punk?

 

The name’s Callahan, Ryan Callahan.  Another Callahan, the infamous “Dirty Harry”, earned his nickname by getting every dirty job that came along. While Dirty Harry patrolled the mean streets of San Francisco pursuing killers, the Rangers Callahan patrols the clean sheets of ice at Madison Square Garden, chasing the dream.

The 24-year-old from Rochester, New York has been as versatile as a Swiss Army knife for the Rangers this season.  Need someone to play responsible third line minutes or kill a penalty, send out Callahan.  Need a quick burst of energy, call on Callahan.  Need a player to step up and skate on a scoring line, give the job to Callahan, he can do it.  He always seems to be able to make things happen out there.

In his last year of junior hockey, Callahan recorded 52 goals and 84 points in only 62 games. In his first year of professional hockey, he had 35 goals, 55 points in 60 AHL games. He also played 14 NHL games that year, recording six points.  Last year, Callahan scored 15 points in 11 AHL games, but only 13 points in 52 NHL games and missed 16 games with a sprained knee.

From the coaching change to the end of the season, Callahan had 17 points in 21 regular season games.  In the final ten regular season games, Callahan averaged around 19 and a half minutes of ice time.  Lately, he’s been playing with Brandon Dubinsky and Markus Naslund. I think playing with Callahan has a lot to do with a reinvigorated Naslund.  Over his four playoff games, Callahan has averaged nearly 21 minutes of ice time, a testament to how much his coach trusts him.

What’s in store for Ryan Callahan next season? He has the talent for 60-65 points, but his versatility may also work against him as a fantasy player. Partly because he can easily be moved off a scoring line, there is always a risk that he may not spend enough time with one of the top two lines to generate much more than 40 points.   Still, I like his energy and I think Coach Tortorella does as well. I see a safe 50-55 points next season.