Ryan Callahan’s playoff run hasn’t been picture perfect. In fact, at one point his offensive struggles were so noteworthy that he the media began to ask him if he had injured his hand.
Callahan has bounced back lately with two goals and three points in the Rangers’ last three games. He was particularly good in Game 5, leading the Rangers in their impressive, but ultimately ill-fated comeback attempt.
“I felt good last night,” Callahan said on Thursday. “I was strong on the forecheck, which I have to be. And as a line I thought we were holding onto pucks.
“We have to continue to do that tomorrow night and hopefully we can put it in the net too.”
The Rangers have no more margin for error. If they lose in Game 6 on Friday, then they’re out of the playoffs. They need Callahan to be at his best, and Rangers coach John Tortorella is optimistic that he will be.
“Well, he’s gotten better as the series has gone on,” Tortorella said on Thursday. “So hopefully he’ll play his best tomorrow night.”
Mike Babcock’s reign with the Detroit Red Wings ended in another first-round defeat, yet it may be lost in time just how close that series was.
Yes, the Tampa Bay Lightning shut down the Red Wings to win Game 7 at home, but Ben Bishop deserves a ton of the credit. The Red Wings snagged the puck for much of the contest, just not enough to beat the big goalie.
While change is in the air in Detroit, the Bolts are largely the same squad that generated a nice showing in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. We’ll get to see if the Red Wings gain a measure of revenge on NBCSN tonight, with home-ice advantage this time around.
Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.
It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.
“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”
Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.
Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.
Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.
“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”