On the heels of speculation from earlier today, the New York Rangers confirmed their fans’ worst fears that heart-and-soul forward Ryan Callahan suffered a serious injury. It appears that Callahan did indeed break his ankle blocking a Zdeno Chara slap shot, although the team is officially calling the injury a fracture in his right leg.
John Tortorella spoke with media members (including Andrew Gross) about Callahan’s injury, noting that the injury won’t require surgery but will keep him out “long term.”
Obviously, that’s a pretty vague time table, but maybe the Rangers are awaiting more information like the rest of us. As we discussed in the previous post, it’s actually easier to recover from a broken ankle instead of a more nagging injury like a high ankle sprain, so it’s not all bad news for the Rangers. Relatively speaking, of course.
Still, losing Callahan is undoubtedly troubling, especially considering how much he clicked with Brandon Dubinsky. New York played reasonably well in the 19 games he missed earlier this season, though, so it’s not as if they cannot function without Callahan.
That being said, can they make a big impact in the playoffs without him?
In case you’re wondering how the Rangers will cope without Callahan, the short-term solution will be to play Matt Gilroy at right wing on Wednesday to give the team a full set of forwards. The team is also waiting on the return of highly paid captain Chris Drury, who doesn’t match Callahan’s grit but might be able to replace some of his leadership and a little bit of offense.
As always, we’ll let you know if anything chances with Callahan and Drury as the Rangers hope to secure a playoff spot and make some noise if they get there.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.