Update, 9:15 a.m.:
This morning, Callahan was skating on a line with Parise & Backes. Stepan was still an extra.
...wow, that's a huge step up from fourth line to playing with Parise.
Yesterday, practice for most Olympic men's ice hockey teams began, including for all seven Rangers players.
For Team USA, Ryan Callahan found himself on the fourth line with Max Pacioretty and Paul Stastny, while Derek Stepan was an extra skater with Blake Wheeler.
Ryan McDonagh was on the second defensive pair with John Carlson
Here's the full lines (via Pierre LeBrun)...
Here's a pic of Callahan at practice (via Rangers Twitter)...
Team USA's first game is Thursday vs. Slovakia.
...while Stepan didn't play himself off the Team USA roster, it does look like he played himself out of the lineup. Not very surprising.
...seems like Callahan is going to have the same checking and penalty kill responsibility he had four years ago in Vancouver, which obviously suits him perfectly.
Here's Team Canada's full lineup...
St. Louis/Duchene extras
Team Canada's first game is Thursday vs. Norway.
...that's an absolutely stacked Canadian team, so it shouldn't be too insulting for Nash not to be on the power play. Having said that, if Nash is having a normal Nash-like season, he's probably on one of those units.
Meanwhile, at Team Sweden practice Carl Hagelin ended up on the fourth line with Jimmie Ericsson (Skelleftea AIK) and Marcus Krueger (Blackhawks). Here's a pic of Hagelin at practice (via Carin Reuterberg)...
Here's full Swedish lineup (via Helene St. James)...
...with that lineup, you had to figure it was going to be very difficult for Hagelin to crack the top nine. Just being on a team that talented is impressive enough. Looking forward to seeing Hagelin utilize his blazing speed on the bigger ice surface.
And what would a Team Sweden practice be without the King...
NHL.com ranked Lundqvist as the top goaltender at the Olympics.
Sweden's first game is Wednesday vs. the Czech Republic.
Finally, Mats Zuccarello and Team Norway began their Olympic journey (H/T Ole Aasheim)...
...Zuccarello has been one the the Rangers best players for the last two months, but if Norway has any chance of making it into the medal round, he's going to have to take his game to another level. And he needs to start right away, as Norway's first game is Thursday vs. Canada.
How is this not the theme song for the blog???
Not sure why the US is looked at as being "lucky" to medal? Sweden has to be the favorite because of the talent AND Hank. But Canada, while having a abundance of talented skaters, is not exactly stacked in net, nor is Russia. I think the US has a goaltending edge over both Canada and Russia and I like the way they set up their team by not just picking the top talent, but having a plan. Should be a fun tourney!
Sorry, going to get on my soap box here for a second:
I know this situation with Cally sucks, and there's really no way it ends well unless he does a complete 180 and accepts 6 years for $4 mil/year...But we're really going to sit here and rip our home-grown talent apart for being IN THE OLYMPICS!?! First of all, this isn't an All-Star team, and if you read Scott Burnside's piece on how this team was built, they didnt just take the 20 best American Born Players based on stats and fantasy points. They built it as a team, looking at situational play, past international experience, mentality to succeed in a one-off tournament, etc. No one is saying that Cally is BETTER than players who aren't on the team, he just fit the team better. None the less, w're sitting here ripping our captain and #1 center apart for being chosen to represent our country. I doubt anyone on the Islanders blog is saying "Tavares is on the 4th line....psshh...might as well not be there...and let's trade him when he gets back, what a hack!". And for all you Evander Kane lovers, they talk on the Jet's blog today is....nothing....because he's got the next two weeks like the off like the rest of us, while Blake Wheeler gets comfy in the press box next to Stepan.
Sorry, again, I know $7 mil a year is nuts, but we've got a self-drafted, home-grown, in-house captain who's going to the Olympics to represent our country for the 2nd time in 4 years, and we're ripping the guy to shreds talking about how he shouldn't be there, letting our opinion of him get skewed because of closed door contract negotiations, which frankly, as fans, we should know nothing about.
I don't think it's fair to say Stepan played himself out of the lineup. He was never in the lineup as he was always seen as the fifth center / 13th or 14th forward. I would've been shocked to see him practice on one of the top four lines. Doesn't mean he won't get there before tournament is over but no one had him there to start no matter how he was playing.
@TheNYRBlog This makes me SO excited!! Can't wait to watch the boys play...
@TheNYRBlog okposo should have been selected over him
Maybe we can get Toews to play with Nash on the Rangers... What a step up from playing with Derek Stepan. Bet he is the xfactor for Canada.
In all honesty, I know he is a young high potential center but you cant show up every season looking like your missing a step. We can get a good trade in return for him and we have a strong depth in the middle as is. Maybe look at trades
With TJ Oshie a capable center, I was very surprised they brought Stepan off. He started to put up more points and play better but honestly he still looks sluggish. He looks slow, and off beat. I think he always starts his seasons like this which is never a good thing.
Pretty sad too seeing the FA we are supposed to be so high on being on the fourth line too. maybe Sather should retire to the old stogies home and let some fresh mind and eyes take over
Pretty amazing Stepan is a no go only if cally and someone else hurts themselves which is deserved by his play. Cally a fourth line deserved as thought he didnt belong either imo. guy drafted after the undertaker is a first pair d-man over McD who imo much better player. Hank is Hank but Zucc other than Hank is richly deserving of the honor. Usa lucky to medal at these olympic with that line up Canada,Russia and sweden all better. only chance if we have a hot goalie otherwise see ya
Just an update, this morning Callahan was on a line with Parise and Backes: https://twitter.com/cmasisak22/status/433202172340482049
So go read something else if the comments aren't up to your standard. I see the same trends you are talking about among fans on pretty much every available forum.
Then don't read the comments douche troll.
more like ill humor
@johnnyb3910When Zucc was coming into the locker room, the other players of the Norwegian team was playing this video for him
@johnnyb3910 cause it's not very good lol
watch out for the Finns too. They have some solid goaltending and if they got hot...
and this is why Bobby Ryan did not make the team this year, and also why Chris Drury was on the VAN olympic team.
@Melissa (blknblueshirts) I'm not so sure. If he's having a season like last year, I think he's in the lineup over Brown or Stastny. Remember he can play on the wing as well.
Eruzione should have been picked ahead of him
With the experience and familiarity that Toews and Sharp have with each other, Nash should be able to cherry-pick the entire tournament. Just needs to remember to go to the net and not get caught being a spectator. But don't hold your breath, as much as I'd love to have Toews, Nash will be in Chicago long before Toews is ever in NY.
no offense, cause I love McD, but have you watched Fowler play this season? He's been amazing for the Ducks. He's really lifted his defensive play and has become a real solid overall d-man. I like DM, but if the NYR could do it all over again, you pick Fowler over DM any day of the week. And wouldn't have picked Jessiman...since now I'm using my NYR time machine, that Dolan picked up on sale cause it was broken
How Is that amazing? He should have not even made the team....He is over rated....Dubi or Ryan should be there over Stepan Cause Stepan sucks literally
@Kevin DeLury Love that he switched with Brown. It's almost as if Bylsma is saying the two of them are similar players...so maybe they should be looking for similar contracts... lol
I guess I stand corrected...
Think he went to Bylsma and said "hey, look, I'm trying to land myself a nice $40+ Million deal back at home, any chance you could get me OFF the 4th line?"
thats great man thanks for sharing
Or you can stop being a moron and giving me reasons to complain. Ever consider that?
Just the fact that their opinions change every day over everything. "Cally wants 7 mil? Fuck that guy. Oh Cally scores 2 goals? Pay him! Cally's on the FOURTH LINE in the olympics, why are we resigning this guy?" Or "Lost 2 games in a row? We suck, trade Hank, start rebuilding. We went on a good run? Ohey were def winning the cup now" I can go on. I like Kevin and the writers and have been reading for awhile now, but some commenters are just plain dumb
Oh good, someone I was referring to
Stepan was specifically picked as depth at center. They wouldn't play him at wing with the possibility of being hurt and then hurting their depth at C. They knew when they picked him that he would be an extra C. If Stasny struggles, I wouldn't be surprised to see Stepan put in.
@Kevin DeLury Maybe over Stastny in that case. But there was never any point from the moment he was named that anyone saw him as more than a spare forward so just not sure I agree with saying he "lost" his spot. He just didn't work his way into the lineup.
well according to another genius on this blog these teams were picked over the summer thats why stepan and cally made it . evaluated by last season not this season. if that was the case fowler not 1st pairing.but I agree with you that this year had to have some weight in the picks. thats why I cant fathom how step made this team. cally I understand
@mando24179 being sarcastic bud its amazing hes still in the league. he and cally shouldnt be there
Whereas your comments, (all 12 of them?) are 5/6's attacks on other people. You haven't offered a single thought on this blog. Indeed, you seem to miss the fundamental point of a fan blog: community. The spirit of sharing opinion, arguing and respecting the basic humanity of everyone else in said community. A poster has value only with respect to his/her contribution to the community. As Bukra implies below, if you don't like it, shut the fuck up and leave.
Good Humor's contribution = negligible.
Awesome dude, I've seen enough comments on here from you to put you in that category as well
He is over rated cause he plays in ny... but Stepan is a 3rd line center. ...He is to slow. .. He has skull. But at times holds onto the puck to long. And doesn't have that killer instinct.... He is gutless...plays lazy
I would also like to see Nash feed Kreider more often. There's been more than a few times when Kreider was open and flying down the side or was just in a really good spot and Nash didn't make the pass. But yeah.. they were playing well earlier in the season, not sure whats going on now. Kreider needs to keep up the physical play, he's been letting down a bit on that lately.
Well, all the lines are working except Kreider-Step-Nash. Maybe they should bench Step or demote him down to the 4th, and either bring Miller or Kristo up to play with Kreids & Nash. I'm not saying permanently, but Step needs a kick in the rear to get going, and right now he's just too slow to play with his line mates.
How are the Rangers lines messed up? We are playing the best hockey now than we have in the last few years and I would say our team is better up and down the line up than what we've had in a long time. Does it matter if we don't have a 'top line', no it doesn't, the whole team is contributing, better that than having to rely on one line each night.
Thats true. In a short tournament like this, the coach has to ride whoever is playing well. And its a safer strategy to formulate lines now and play with minutes later, then be juggling lines when the games and seeding are on the line. All those lines are solid on a good day, but could also go cold and be useless. It's one of the reasons USA Management/Coaches tried to use versatile players. Stepan may not be high on the depth chart now, like I mentioned elsewhere, if there's a deficiency on the PK or faceoffs Step could jump in, and as Kevin pointed out, he could play wing too. Based on his skill set, he's a good utility player to fill a need, but you may not know that need until 2 games into the tournament.