Print and Go Back ESPN.com: New York Hockey [Print without images]

Thursday, December 16, 2010
Key win hands Rangers key loss

By Mike Hume

Being a blue collar, hard-nosed hockey club has its advantages and disadvantages. On the plus side, grinding out wins against elite teams like the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins has enabled the Blueshirts to post a 19-13-1 record and plant themselves thoroughly in the playoff race. On the other hand, throwing bodies in front of pucks every night can often lead to broken bodies.

Game Story | Box Score

Just as the Rangers welcomed back Chris Drury to the lineup, tone-setter Ryan Callahan broke his hand blocking a shot in the 4-1 win over Pittsburgh Wednesday night. Early reports have Callahan on the shelf for a month and a half, a huge blow to the Blueshirts and arguably the biggest setback of the season.

Callahan is one of the Rangers’ top point producers and has helped carry the team early alongside Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov. He’s also the team’s tempo setter. Most night’s he’ll be the first player to throw a hit, always goes hard to the net and won’t back down from a challenge. The Rangers will now have to find their spark from someone else while he heals.

Aside from losing one of their on-ice leaders, Wednesday was a huge success for the Rangers (who certainly seem to be making a good impression on HBO’s “24/7: Road to the Winter Classic,” beating both of the participating teams by a combined score of 11-1).

Here are a few notes from the rest of the Rangers media.

Morning Links