Here is a news and notes to get you through the day before the Rangers take on the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Steve Zipay talks a little about Ryan Callahan and his impact on the Rangers so far. (Subscription required.)
With 19 goals last year and seven so far this season, Ryan Callahan will never be mistaken for Tampa's young sniper Steven Stamkos, who could score 50 or more. But when it comes to timing and setting an example, Callahan's your man.
Two of the right wing's goals have come in the third periods of the last two Rangers wins: The tying goal with 6:56 left in regulation in Nashville on Saturday when it seemed the road-weary Rangers could barely muster a shot, and a power-play score in the 3-0 victory against the Panthers on Friday. Back on Nov. 15, he scored in overtime to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins, who visit Madison Square Garden tonight.
I think that Zipay nailed this one. Callahan has always been a force for the Rangers, but not always on the scoresheet. He's still the same old Callahan that blocks shots, forechecks all game, hustles and leaves his heart on the ice after every shift.
Callahan -- who has 39 goals in his past two seasons with the Rangers -- already has seven this year. His 19 points is good for second on the team behind Brandon Dubinsky who has 20.
Join me after the jump for more.
Our good friend Andrew Gross talked about line combinations after the win in Nashville. I thought he brought up some good points.
I know the lines were all jumbled but I'm pretty sure Derek Stepan and Marian Gaborik should be together - Stepan now has a six-game point streak. Didn't mind Brandon Dubinsky on their left wing, either.
OK, this is a topic that we have been talking about for awhile, Derek Stepan. I like the idea of him centering Dubinsky and Marian Gaborik, especially with the way Dubinsky has been scoring. Stepan went through his little slump already, and has bounced back. That's a good sign from the Rangers top-flight rookie.
His six goals and eight assists for 14 points is good for fourth on the team. Let's see what he can do with those two, especially since we all know that Alexander Frolov's not working on the top line. Speaking on Frolov, Gross had this to say in the same article linked above:
Also, how about an it's-about-time Sean Avery started receiving more than seven, eight minutes per game. Without doubt, Sean Avery belongs on the third line. If Alex Frolov is the odd man out at this point, so be it. You can't say John Tortorella didn't give him numerous chances to show he belonged either on the top line or the second line.
Can't say I disagree here either. I was one of the guys who was a big fan of bringing Frolov in. (Although I did say that Martin Biron was a bigger signing, you still disagree with me Ahmad :) )
Frolov has been wildly inconsistent, he's been ineffective on nearly every line he's played on, and if his play is taking time away from Stepan on the top line, I'm going to be upset. I also agree that Avery should be seeing more time on the ice. Him playing eight minutes a night doesn't help anyone.
OK guys, thoughts?