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.