Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Cally! Cally! Cally!

He may be gone by Friday, but while he is still around Ryan Callahan, Captain Extraordinaire, is still making his case for being team leader, with as forceful a game a player could put up on the board. When the night was over, The Captain, in 17:05 of ice time, got two goals, 10th and 11th, an assist, 6 shots and 7 hits. And 'The Faithful' appreciated it showering him with chants of "Cally, Cally Cally." I imagine the chants were more for the Stealth GM than they were for Callahan.

We are staying out of this fight whether to re-up Callahan at the GM's terms or at the players terms. There is a case not to go beyond five years in an extension. The record is not good with long term extensions. Callahan is 29 years old. A five year extension, GM's terms, puts Cally at 34 and still pumping. A seven year, Cally's option, puts him at 37 and pumping less. It says here that a five year extension puts Cally in a good spot. Still young at 34 and able to go free agency or stay with the Rangers for another three or four years. Do it Cally. We love you and will continue. Five at $32-33 mil is a good deal.

Meanwhile the Rangers behind Lundqvist's stellar goaltending, 27 saves, and a twenty shot barrage on Av's goalie Varlamov in the first period, rolled to their fourth straight win, seventh in nine, and 11-3-1 in their last 15. They are in 2nd place in the Metro East with 65 points, three ahead of third and fourth place, Columbus and Philadelphia. It's going to be an old fashioned dog fight for the final positions in the East. So we need all hands on deck, including Captain Ryan Callahan.

A reader wants to know if the Rangers will be tired coming back from the Olympics and if that will hurt them. Well, a lot of teams will have  the same problems so it becomes a crap shoot. All teams will be affected. The big unknown in the Olympics will be the danger of how many players get injured in the Olympics. Lundqvist is a work horse so I don't believe the extra work will hurt him. Callahan always goes all out so he may be at risk. Of course none of this would be an issue if the Olympics had stuck to their original principles and only let amateurs play.

Meanwhile the Rangers have two games before the Olympics. A 'trap' game against Edmonton Thursday night and a showdown against the Penguins at Pittsburgh on Friday. Edmonton is the worst team in the West with 44 points and Pittsburgh is the best in the East with 80 points. Then it's off to Sochi and the joy of victory or the agony of defeat.

ICINGS: The T/Birds, undermanned due to injuries, lost to the leagues top team, Smithtown, 5-1. The T/Birds are now 8-9 with ten more games to go. Long season.

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