With the Rangers sitting at 1-4 and their season ready to spiral into the abyss, Ryan Callahan did what he always does, put on his hard hat and went to work.
His final stat line: 1 goal, +1, six shots on goal, two blocked shots and five hits.
Oh and that goal? Pretty eff'n sweet...
The Rangers captain has never been a vocal leader, but if you're a teammate who can't be inspired by an effort like that, you need to be shown the door.
And I say it all the time, but Callahan easily has the most under-rated skill set in the NHL. Not many players have the hand-eye coordination to pull that move off.
So now, with the Rangers players finally finding their bearings after a treacherous trip to start the season, they can begin to feel good about themselves and the direction of the team thanks to their captain.
Oh yeah, that Lundqvist guy might have had a hand in the victory as well.
Here's Brad Richards on last night's performance...
“We were a lot more in synch in our defensive zone and the neutral zone, and we were getting those little chip-ins behind their D so we could get in on them with speed that’s tough to handle.”
“It felt like night and day, more or less. We looked a lot more coherent in the defensive zone. We were on the same page.”
“It felt like we came in with a lot of confidence, knowing we could beat them. Our timing was good, we were blocking shots.
“We did all the little things [correctly]. It was good to see.”
All quotes via New York Post.
...as Adam mentioned in his game recap, last night's effort seemed a lot like what we witnessed under Tortorella. Packing it in on defense, blocking shots and a tough forecheck. I give AV a ton of credit for making the proper adjustments that allowed the Rangers to succeed. Which was something the Rangers former coach did not do enough of and ultimately led to his firing.
Sick goal by Callahan...but if ANY SINGLE PLAYER other than Ovechkin was defending the slot, Callahan never would have gotten through. Ovechkin has to be the laziest player on defense in the history of the sport.
If I was his coach, I would sit him on the end of the bench closest to our offensive zone during that period and place a checking line defender on the exact opposite side of the bench. When the puck leaves our zone, ovechkin changes with the checker. As soon as the puck heads out of the offensive zone, on the way back down, ovy hops back onto the bench.
@kj_rangers I was about to say, that video almost had the making of another Ovi GIF of him floating uniterestedly in no-mans-land while the Rangers capitalized (no pun intended) below the face off dots. That was actually one of his better defensive efforts...
@Trade DelZotto+Girardi4E.Kane how can you say that hit was worse than the hit on Nash? This looked way more incidental and Stephan got hit w/ a shoulder/upper arm hit to the side of the head whereas Nash got blasted w/ a deliberate elbow directly to the face.