RYAN CALLAHAN CAPTURES LIGHTNING
The former captain of the Rangers has fit in nicely with the Lightning since the shocking deadline day deal. There is no doubt that Ryan Callahan was in a state of disbelief after being dealt for disgruntled Lightning captain Martin St. Louis. Being the leader and professional he is, Ryan laced up his skates and got right to work.
In the 10 games since the trade, Callahan has contributed 2 goals and 4 assists. More importantly, Tampa has picked up at least one point in 9 out of those contests. He certainly has impressed his coaches and teammates. In a recent article in the NY Times head coach Jon Cooper sang Cally’s praises.
“That kid knows how to play the game below the dots, and we just haven’t had a ton of those guys wheel through our organization,” Cooper said, although he added that Callahan was “probably a little tired, because I’m playing him a little bit more than he played in New York.”
Cooper didn’t stop there stating Callahan is the first player to jump over the boards on the penalty kill and power play. New Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, feels the same way.
“You know what he’s going to bring to the table every night,” Stamkos said. “He’s passionate, one of the hardest workers. He’s fearless out there, the amount of shots that he’s blocked, and he’s produced offensively. That line has carried our team since the Olympic break.”
That line Stamkos is referring to is the unit of Valtteri Filppula and Ondrej Palat. Filppula has 13 points since the trade with 4 goals and Palat has 14 points, including 5 goals. This unit has Tampa humming towards the playoffs and they could make some noise when they get there.
Now just imagine a New York and Tampa Bay Conference Final. That’d be some storyline.