Cooper believes Callahan will bump the slump tonight


Ryan Callahan hasn’t registered a point in nine games dating back to Game 7 of the Bolts first round series with the Detroit Red Wings.

Despite the drought, Tampa head coach Jon Cooper feels tonight is the night the 30-year-old finally bumps the slump.

“Probably tonight’s the night he’s going to score, because he does that on big stages and he’s probably going to do it in the building that he grew up as a hockey player,” Cooper said.

Callahan has three assists in 16 playoff games while averaging 17:27 in ice time. He’s also battled back from an emergency appendectomy.

“I don’t judge him on, well, he hasn’t scored a goal in the series. Ryan Callahan brings so much to our team in the locker room, on the ice, his physical play,” Cooper said. “He’s a pain in the butt in front of the net, and he just wears his heart on his sleeve.

“Everybody’s not going to score at the pace of (Steven) Stamkos or (Tyler) Johnson or Kuch (Nikita Kucherov) or those guys that are scoring, but you need other guys to help carry the load. And Callahan’s one of those guys.”

As for his coach’s guarantee, Callahan didn’t seem too bothered.