Captain Cally Turns The Page Quickly

In the visitors dressing room in Boston last night Rangers captain Ryan Callahan was calmly answering a series of questions surrounding his team's 3-1 defeat at the hands of the Bruins. He most definitely would have preferred chatting about how the Rangers had gone out and won their 2013 season opener, but as usual Callahan handled the questions in a professional manner.

After the other reporters dispersed, I actually got a smile out of Callahan when I asked him about returning to Madison Square Garden Sunday and playing for the first time since May 23rd of 2012---a 5-3 loss in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Devils.

"It's a big night and it's exciting," Callahan said of the home opener against the Penguins. "It's going to be a good atmosphere in there and I'm excited already for just what The Garden is like."

The Rangers were excellent on home ice in 2011-12, winning 27 of 41 games and totaling 56 points---their best showing at The Garden in many years. The team once again made Madison Square Garden a difficult place for other teams to come into.

"This is a great opportunity for us on a back-to-back, coming home in front of our fans," offered Callahan. "There's no reason why we shouldn't have energy (on Sunday) and no reason why we shouldn't have jump. I'm looking forward to it."

Four Rangers---Rick Nash, Arron Asham, Jeff Halpern, and Taylor Pyatt---are expected to don the Blueshirt for the first time at The Garden this evening.

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Some interesting numbers from the season opener in Boston:

  • The Rangers were shorthanded seven times, though they were able to deny the Bruins all seven times
  • The Rangers power play was 0-for-5, including a 90-second failed 5-on-3 in the third period
  • Taylor Pyatt, Brian Boyle, and Marc Staal each recorded a team-high 4 hits, but that threesome also combined to post a -6 plus/minus rating
  • The Rangers were limited to 21 shots on goal---with Michael Del Zotto, Ryan Callahan, Derek Stepan, and Brad Richards (who scored the only goal) each finishing with three apiece
  • Ryan McDonagh played more than 10 minutes in the first period, and finished with 24:21 worth of ice-time, just six seconds behind Dan Girardi for the team-high. Richards led all Rangers forwards with 21:46 of ice-time, while Rick Nash logged 21:41 and picked up an assist in his Rangers debut

Jim Cerny-January 20, 2013