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New York Rangers Prepare for Life Without Ryan Callahan

January 31st, 2013 at 6:22 PM
By PJ Foti

Ryan Callahan will miss at least 10 days for the New York Rangers with his shoulder injury, so the team will have to move on without him for the time being.

The Rangers have shuffled their lines in practice leading up to the team's next game vs. Pittsburgh tonight, but everyone is trying to figure out how anyone can fill Callahan's skates.

"I don't think you fill his role. I felt that in the third period last night when we were protecting the lead, that's a very big part of his game," Rangers coach John Tortorella said. "It comes through to team, through team concept. Every team goes through the injuries, and just playing that much better in the situations that he's been put in throughout his career, it needs to be done as a group."

With Callahan out, a lot of guys will get more ice time than usual trying to fill the void. His void is the largest on the team as he's an important part of every aspect of the Rangers' game.

Although he doesn't light up the score sheet, Callahan is a key for the team on special teams, and is their leader. He's on the ice when the Rangers are on the power play, and may be their best penalty killing forward. He also isn't afraid to put his body in harms way, whether he's fighting or blocking shots.

The rest of the team will have to chip in, in his absence. The man the Rangers may be relying on more so is third-year forward Derek Stepan.

"Individually I'm still working on my game, I still got a lot to sharpen up," Stepan said. "I think now with Cally out it's going to be most important to really get it straightened out now."

Although Stepan has four points in six games, he's yet to put the puck in the net himself. Although scoring isn't Callahan's forte, an extra goal every night could supply huge dividends as the Rangers' will inevitably allow more goals without Callahan in on the defensive end.

Rather than calling a player up from the AHL, the Rangers have decided to start Matt Gilroy as the team's sixth defenseman and moved Stu Bickel to forward.

Tags: Derek Stepan, Hockey, John Tortorella, Matt Gilroy, New York, New York Rangers, NHL, Ryan Callahan, Stu Bickel

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