Just one day after the New York Rangers got back on track with a huge 2-0 shutout of the Caps in Washington, the team announced Thursday they have lost Ryan Callahan for the next three to four weeks after the captain sustained a broken thumb.
Prior to Wednesday night's effort against the Capitals, the Rangers had opened the season with four losses in five games. But, in the past couple of games, it seemed the team's goal scoring has started to increase. Part of the reason why - Ryan Callahan - who is second on the team in goals with three.
The Blueshirts are already without Rick Nash, who is still feeling the effects of a high hit from Sharks defenseman Brad Stuart.
Also, Ranger winger Carl Hagelin has just been cleared for contact by the team, but he won't be eligible to come off the long-term injured reserve list for another four games. Hagelin is recovering from off-season shoulder surgery, which occurred after he suffered a torn labrum.
Callahan suffered the same injury as Hagelin and he too received off-season shoulder surgery, but Callahan only missed the season opener. Now, the captain will miss at least nine games on the schedule, including the Rangers' long-awaited home opener against the Montreal Canadiens on Monday, October 28th.
The Rangers have recalled forward Darroll Powe from Hartford to replace Callahan on the roster. Powe, who played in 34 games for the Blueshirts last season, has played four games for the Wolf Pack this year, scoring one goal and earning a plus/minus of +1.
Powe wasn't the only player recalled from Hartford on Thursday. The Rangers also decided to send backup goaltender Cam Talbot back to the Wolf Pack in exchange for Wolf Pack netminder Jason Missiaen, who won his only start so far this year in the AHL.
Talbot was sent down just a couple of days after the Rangers recalled him. He returns to the Wolf Pack tied for fourth in the American Hockey League in wins and seventh in saves this season. It's possible that since Henrik Lundqvist is back on track, the coaching staff may have felt Talbot needed to keep up with playing time to avoid regression. Jim Cerny of Blueshirts United says Talbot will play his next game against the Manchester Monarchs on Friday night. He says the question is will Talbot stay with the Wolf Pack for their Saturday night game against the Portland Pirates or will Talbot be called back up in time to dress as Lundqvist's backup when the Blueshirts play the Devils.
Meanwhile, the Rangers have to deal with yet another major injury to a top six forward. Nothing has officially been said by the team, but one would assume, on Saturday, we could see recently recalled forward J.T. Miller on, at least, the second line. This may especially be true since there is no active 13th forward on the roster right now. Also, with Nash, Hagelin, and Callahan out, the team doesn't have many forwards left on the roster that truly show that aggressive offensive pedigree. One thing is for sure, Powe will definitely be on the fourth line against the Devils.
That is, unless the Rangers make more roster changes.