Rangers captain Ryan Callahan served up a scintillating overtime goal at the Garden last night to celebrate his 27th birthday. His wrist shot in the slot, off a pass from Michael Del Zotto, clinched a tough, hard fought, 2-1 win over a depleted, but scrappy, Detroit Red Wings team.
It is amazing that in New York you have this tough, personable, hockey hero, who has led the Rangers to the top of the NHL, yet he is virtually invisible. More New Yorkers probably know who Tim Tebow is, than who know about Ryan Callahan. We have Linsanity and now Timsanity, how about some Cally Craziness? This guy is totally the real deal. Rangers fans now have a choice of naming their newborn boys Henrik or Ryan. Newborn girls, I guess, could be named either Henriette or Cally.
During the game Callahan was throwing his body around like there was no tomorrow.
"He just had an unbelievable third period and overtime," Rangers coach John Tortorella said. "He does so much for the hockey club. It's fitting that he gets the winning goal. I thought Ryan Callahan was our best player."
True dat, oh disagreeable one.
Detroit gifted Brad Richards a coast-to-coast power play goal to commemorate Cally's party. That might temporarily take the focus off the inept power play, but me thinks things still stink there. The PP went 1-for-3, in 4:28 of ice time.
Michael Del Zotto, who set up Callahan's game winner, had me screaming at him frequently during other parts of the game. He seemed to be making bad passes and coughing up the puck all night. He still had 26:53 of ice time, 4:25 of which was on the power play. How in the world does he stay out of Tortorella's dog house?
Lundqvist flew another near perfect Lundvist mission, only one goal allowed on 27 shots. Lundqvist is 2nd in the league in save percentage, at .934%. Brian Elliott of St. Louis is first with .937%. Lundqvist is also 2nd in GAA with 1.87, behind Elliott's 1.62 goals against average. Lundqvist still leads with 8 shutouts, and is 3rd in wins, with 34. Game-by-game it looks like the King is moving closer to claiming his first Vezina Trophy.
There are only nine games left, and this late rush by Pittsburgh might be the best thing in the world to keep the Rangers sharp and focused on playing good hockey down the stretch.
Callahan's OT Winner: