Update: It turns out that Ryan Callahan will, indeed, play in Game 1. Wow.
It’s impressive enough that Callahan is a game-time decision for Game 1 of the 2015 Eastern Conference Final. As it turns out, it sounds like he’s more likely to play than not.
Callahan will at least warm up heading into this emotional series against the New York Rangers less than a week removed from undergoing an emergency appendectomy.
Lightning head coach Jon Cooper referred to Callahan as a “tough kid” and indicated that he expects the former Rangers captain to play.
This feels unprecedented – remember a similar situation sidelining Peter Forsberg for a playoff run? – but HNIC’s Elliotte Friedman reminds us of Jonathan Ericsson’s courage:
The 30-year-old went under the knife on May 11. He missed the Lightning’s Game 6 win, yet he returned to practice less than 72 hours after the procedure. Cooper hinted at Callahan’s possible availability by referring to it coming down to “pain tolerance” and viewing him as day-to-day.
Of course, with all this optimism, Callahan (or Cooper) may pull the plug after warm-ups. It’s one thing to be tough enough to try to play, but what if he’s so limited that he ends up being a liability?
Either way, it’s a remarkable story, and another example to file under “hockey players are tough” (if you’re into that sort of thing).