On a day known for tricks and treats, the Rangers received a big dose of the latter Thursday when team captain Ryan Callahan took part in the morning skate at Madison Square Garden. It marked the first time since he broke his thumb on October 16th that he has skated with his teammates, and both he and head coach Alain Vigneault projected that Callahan could be back in the lineup in another seven to ten days.
"It's extremely frustrating because I worked hard all summer to get back from that shoulder injury, came back a little bit sooner than expected, felt those last couple my games I started to feel my game a little bit, and then this happens," Callahan told reporters on Thursday, referring to his thumb injury. "It's frustrating, but at the same time it's part of the game. Unfortunately I've been through injuries before. I just need to keep working and try and get back."
Callahan had scored a highlight-reel goal in that October 16th match against the Capitals, which followed his two-goal outing against the St. Louis Blues in the previous game. He has three points in five games, with two of his three goals coming on the power play.
The Rangers captain told reporters that he had a very angry reaction to his latest injury and needed a couple of days to calm down and refocus on working to return to the lineup.
"It (stinks), and I felt it the first couple of days, I was (ticked) off," explained Callahan, who wore a yellow non-contact jersey on Thursday. "You never want to get hurt like that, especially coming back from an injury. After that initial shock or initial disappointment, you get that mindset of Let's Heal, Let's Get Better. That's the approach I have now."
Callahan suffered the latest injury blocking a shot in the final seconds of that 2-0 victory over the Capitals at the Verizon Center. At first he hoped the thumb was just badly bruised, but then received the bad news shortly thereafter that it was broken. He did say, "I knew it wasn't good" as soon as the puck hit his hand.
The Blueshirts just got Carl Hagelin back in the lineup on Tuesday, but once again have three regular forwards missing due to injury. Dominic Moore---out a week to ten days with a strained oblique muscle---has just joined Callahan and Rick Nash on the sidelines.