by Patrick Hoffman on 02/01/11 at 11:00 PM ET
From good friend of the blog Rob Simpson at MSG.com:
2) With some healthy bodies and the addition of a scoring line center and/or a power play quarterback with a big shot, plus great goaltending from Hank, the Rangers could turn out to be one of those “wouldn’t want to play them in the first round” (or second) kind of teams. But I still have Philly, Boston, or Pitt coming out of the East and Detroit, Vancouver, or Anaheim coming out of the West. My preseason Final pick was Detroit/Boston.
3) Among the top-30 forwards who lead the League in hits, Ranger Brian Boyle is seventh with 154 and Brandon Prust is 26th with 109. Most impressive is Ryan Callahan, whom the Rangers expect to welcome back Tuesday night. He’s still listed at 14th with 128 hits despite missing 20 games with a broken hand. He led NHL forwards at the time of his injury.
4) What Callahan Means to the Blueshirts, Part II: He’s also still 15th in the League in blocked shots among forwards with 40. Prorated, he’d be second in the NHL had he not missed games. Hitting, blocked shots, and hard work are Callahan’s “actions speak louder than words” staples, which his teammates have picked up on all season. Boyle is fourth in the League among forwards with 52, while Ruslan Fedetenko is tied for 27th with 36. I’d be remiss not to mention defenseman Dan Girardi, who leads the League in blocked shots with a whopping 143. Girardi (108), Marc Staal (108), and Steve Eminger (105) are all top-20 among D-men in hits.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.