[Ed. note: As part of the build-up to the first round playoff series between the Capitals and the Rangers, Japers' Rink will be looking at some of the important but lesser-known players on the Rangers and how they might impact the series.]
#24 / Right Wing / New York Rangers
Mar 21, 1985
Rochester, NY, USA
127th overall, 2004
|Strengths||Is tenacious on the forecheck and a very hard worker. Also owns a decent pair of hands and defensive acumen. Can play either wing position.|
|Weaknesses||The jury is still out on his long-range offensive potential at the highest level. Could use more size and strength to dominate in the corners.|
|Potential||Third line winger.|
|Regular Season ||GP||G||A||P||+/-||PIM||PPG||SHG||GWG||GTG||SOG||PCT|
Why you should know who he is - Callahan was one of New York's more effective offensive players in 2008-09, his 22 goals being good enough to tie for third on the team, and his forechecking and aggressiveness (Callahan was fourth in the league, and third among forwards, in hits this season) could make life very difficult for the Caps' defensemen. That aggressiveness and physicality also has the potential to wear on the Capitals back line as the series goes on and lead to some sloppy play. Callahan is also an excellent defensive player.
How the Caps can stop him - Like Brandon Dubinsky, Callahan's production comes more from effort than from skill. While the Capitals can't really do anything to diminish Callahan's energy level, they can limit his effectiveness by limiting his opportunities to turn that energy into points. That means guys who don't always handle the puck all that well - Milan Jurcina, Jeff Schultz, and John Erskine - are going to need to be willing to take a hit and make sure they clear the zone effectively on the first attempt, and forwards are going to have to be smart with the puck and avoid turning it over in the neutral zone.