30 April 2007

Ryan Callahan

After getting home very late last night I foolishly insisted on at least perusing BUF/NYR game 3 without knowing the outcome - quick zipping through the first 2 1/2 periods and then I watched it with very low sound straight through from Daniel Briere's goal until the end. Three cheers for five hours of sleep. So I don't have much commentary to provide other than something I'm sure everyone has noted - the ice was so bad last night it looked like us playing street hockey in high school using a fresh tennis ball for a puck. Each team had a bunch of chances in OT they would have buried (or at least had great opportunities for odd-man-rushes) had the puck been settling more normally.

Most of the focus is on the stars in these playoffs, but the guy who really stood out for me last night was Rangers' forward Ryan Callahan. From my Sabres-point of view, he made the unsung play of overtime when (2nd OT I think...it's a bit of a blur) he backchecked hard on Briere, preventing him from corralling the puck by himself in the slot while Henrik Lundqvist was down and out - that would have been a sure goal. In not a ton of ice-time Callahan made a quality impact, especially in the last ~3 periods - in all he totalled 6 hits and 3 blocked shots on the night.

Callahan played on some great teams in Guelph for the Storm of the OHL as a top-notch physical scoring winger - this kid could be a future captain with his effort and skill.

No comments: