There are very few times when you can actually critique Ryan Callahan. The New York Rangers captain is the hardest working player in the entire NHL, but so far this season it has been rough for Callahan to get his game going.
Callahan had offseason shoulder surgery and missed the Rangers’ opening game of the year. He scored three goals in his first five games before suffering another injury. He broke his thumb after blocking a shot in a game against the Washington Capitals and returned on November 4. In the 15 games since he has returned he has only registered four goals. A lot of this has to do with the fact that Callahan has yet to be put on a line that allows him to play his usual game.
Callahan shows obvious chemistry with Derek Stepan and Carl Hagelin, but Stepan has found a new home with Chris Kreider and Rick Nash. Alain Vigneault has to find a line where Callahan will thrive. A good fit for Callahan would be with Brad Richards and Carl Hagelin. Callahan is playing his best when he is driving to the net and cashing in on rebounds. He scored his first goal in nine games on Monday night against the Winnipeg Jets in this fashion. Richards and Callahan definitely have some chemistry together, but they need another winger who can help Callahan get into the swing of things. He is easily one of the Rangers’ most important players.
The Rangers will go as far as Henrik Lundqvist, Nash, and Callahan will take them. There’s no doubt the Rangers need their captain to get back to his usual ways.