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Against LA, Lundqvist is King and Is Ryan Callahan a Superstar?

Dante Vassallo takes a look back at last night’s win over the LA Kings. Ryan Callahan a superstar?

By: Dante Vassallo

It was an appropriate matchup last night, as our KING, Henrik Lundqvist defeated a team of Kings to claim his 200th victory in battle.  A battle is exactly what it was, too.  After playing three periods plus an overtime frame that settled nothing, the game had to go to a shootout to decide who would take the coveted extra point.  A point both teams desperately needed.

Lundqvist excels in shootouts, with a league best 35 wins in 58 shootouts, and he was up to the task of stopping LA’s  superstar and final shooter Anze Kopitar to secure the victory.  All hail the King!

Although the rest of the hockey world may not know it, fans who watch the Rangers every game are starting to realize something.

Ryan Callahan is a Superstar.

I know he isn’t as skilled as the big names in the game, but is the most complete player in the sport.  There is simply no aspect of the game that he does not do.

Want points?  He has 30 points(15g 15a) in 39 games played.

Need someone to kill a penalty, block a shot, punch a guy in the face?  He does it all.

He’s ranked 11th in the league in hits with 155, and since returning from injury, Cally has five points in the last two games.  What makes him the superstar that he deserves to be recognized as though, are the thing that don’t show up on the score sheet.

In the second period last night, for example, the Rangers had to kill a penalty nearly five minutes after Callahan scored to tie the game at one.  It was a pivotal moment in the game.  The Rangers had just stolen the momentum, and giving up a goal here would have caused it to swing back to the Kings.

Instead, Callahan put himself in the line of fire to block a shot.  The play resulted in a broken stick and a lot of pain for Cally, but he soldiered on.  Without a stick, he attempted to block two more shots, and slammed a Kings player into the boards.  When he finally got a stick, he skated the puck out of the Rangers zone, and ate up another twenty-five seconds of power-play time.  He hit the score sheet again in the third, when he assisted on Artem Anisimov’s goal.

Ryan Callahan will become a Restricted Free Agent this summer.  Let’s hope he continues to be a superstar in the hearts of Rangers fans only, so he does not receive offer sheets from other teams before the Rangers sign him to a long term contract.

Other Random thoughts: The sooner Brandon Dubinsky is named Captain of this team, the better.  No offense Chris Drury, but you aren’t the man for the job.

If every game was settled by shootout, Erik Christensen and Mats Zuccarello would be household names.  I’m not sure I’d watch hockey anymore, though.

Dustin Brown would fit in perfectly on this Rangers team.  Wish we had him.

Trade Deadline Update:

So much for wanting Kevin Bieksa.  The stud blueliner is hurt again, and will be out for three weeks.  This does increase the likelihood that the Rangers could sign him this summer, though.

Larry Brooks of the New York Post reported that the Rangers have interest in Ottawa defenseman Filip Kuba.  Let’s hope that isn’t true.  He is not the answer to their problems at all.

Montreal traded for former Rangers defensemanPaul Mara.  I liked Mara when he was with us, and was disappointed the Rangers didn’t keep him.  This could help the Rangers pursuit of a veteran defensive defenseman, as Montreal was one of their competitors searching for this type of help.

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