Sometimes, the karma police don’t make any sense at all, and they can be absolute jerks. Just ask Ryan Callahan.
With just under two minutes left in the Rangers’ thrilling win over the Bruins Monday night–a possible playoff saving effort that required a three-goal comeback, two of which were scored in the final three minutes–Callahan blocked a shot from Zdeno Chara. Any time the name “Chara” and the words “blocked shot” are in the same sentence, the likelihood of bad news sharply increases. It’s science.
Callahan’s blocked shot was part of the comeback effort, and unfortunately, it was his last play of the season. After today’s optional skate head coach John Tortorella said the 26-year-old fractured his right leg and will be out indefinitely.
The Rangers took a massive step towards solidifying their playoff position last night, and currently occupy the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. Tied with the Canadians at 91 points, New York is four points ahead of the ninth place Hurricanes, and Carolina has three games remaining. However, if and when they arrive at the NHL’s annual spring dance, life will be difficult without Callahan.
Building off his success of the past two seasons, Callahan had already achieved career-highs of 48 points and 23 goals. He’s the team’s leading scorer on the powerplay, and is second in overall scoring. But beyond the offensive numbers, Callahan’s two-way ability will be missed.
Despite playing in just 60 games because of a broken hand earlier this year, Callahan still ranked fifth among forwards with 77 blocked shots, displaying a fearless attitude that was critical on the penalty kill.
Tortorella showed the kind of optimism that’s expected after troubling news, telling the media that an ill-timed injury of this nature could become a catalyst during the playoffs.
“There’s nothing good about this. But we have to try and turn it into something that will help the team. It could be galvanizing.”
There’s plenty of shuffling left to be done with the seeding at the bottom of the East. But the sliver of good news for New York’s penalty kill is that none of their potential opening round opponents (Washington, Philadelphia, Boston) have powerplays that rank in the top 15.