Skip to content

Callahan: Rangers ‘have to respond’ after bad start to record-long homestand

Dec 9, 2013, 4:25 PM EDT

ryancallahangetty Getty Images

This was supposed to be the part of the season where the Rangers made up lost ground.

So far, though, it hasn’t happened.

The Rangers — in the midst of a franchise record nine-game homestand (the Blueshirts play 20 of 30 at MSG leading up to the Olympic break) — have started with a thud, dropping a 4-3 OT decision to New Jersey on Saturday followed by a dismal 4-1 defeat to Washington on Sunday.

Following the Caps loss, New York held a players-only meeting to try and make sense of its 5-7-1 record at MSG this season. Captain Ryan Callahan said things had to change — starting ASAP.

“We have to respond,” Callahan said, as per the Bergen Record. “It’s not good enough at home. This is a long home stand and now it takes the guys in here to respond and be better. It starts Tuesday night and that’s how we are looking at this.

“We have a challenge in front of us and now we have to answer it.”

The Rangers will host Nashville on Tuesday and know how crucial a victory is. The Rangers head into tonight’s action on the outside of the playoff picture (15-15-1, 31 points) and that has much to do with their poor start to the season — the Blueshirts opened 3-7-0, which included a grueling nine-game road swing while MSG was being renovated.

And that’s what makes this homestand so important. The schedule allows for few opportunities moving forward — New York won’t have anything longer than a four-game home set for the rest of the season — and, when the slate was first released, everybody looked at this stretch as the time when New York would surge forward.

Problem is, it’s just not happening.

“We’re pretty frustrated,” Ryan McDonagh said. “We may think we’re doing some good things out there but it’s not nearly at the consistent level it needs to be in order for us to be a hard team to play against and the team we know we’re capable of being.”

Latest Posts
  1. Devils post-Martin Brodeur era about to truly start

    Sep 14, 2014, 7:13 PM EDT

    NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 04: Martin Brodeur #30 of the New Jersey Devils skates in warm-ups prior to the game against the Detroit Red Wings at the Prudential Center on March 4, 2014 in Newark, New Jersey. Getty Images

    Training camp will “absolutely” have a different mood to it.

  2. Pronger offers guidance to towering Samuel Morin

    Sep 14, 2014, 6:01 PM EDT

    Samuel Morin AP

    The Flyers have high hopes for the young defenseman.

  3. Quenneville doesn’t think Kane has peaked

    Sep 14, 2014, 4:42 PM EDT

    Patrick Kane #88 of the Chicago Blackhawks advances the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during an exhibition game at United Center on September 19, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. The Penguins defeated the Blackhawks 4-3 in a shootout.
(September 18, 2013 - Source: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

    He looked like a serious Hart Trophy candidate in the first half of 2013-14.

  4. Domi in contention for roster spot with Arizona

    Sep 14, 2014, 3:15 PM EDT

    maxdomigetty Getty Images

    But can he contribute at the NHL level?

  5. Sabres’ Myers looking to put disappointing season behind him

    Sep 14, 2014, 1:46 PM EDT

    Tyler Myers Getty Images

    Was rumored to be heading out of Buffalo at NHL Draft.

  6. Report: Rangers expected to announce captain on Thursday

    Sep 14, 2014, 12:15 PM EDT

    Ryan McDonagh Getty Images

    Ryan McDonagh likely choice to wear ‘C’.

  7. Flames’ Bennett compares Gaudreau to McDavid

    Sep 14, 2014, 11:15 AM EDT

    Sam Bennett Getty Images

    Calgary’s prospects show hope for the future in southern Alberta.

  8. Jackets preparing for life without Johansen

    Sep 14, 2014, 10:15 AM EDT

    Columbus Blue Jackets v Carolina Hurricanes Getty Images

    Opportunities available for prospects Boone Jenner and Alexander Wennberg.

  9. Darnell Nurse focused on earning a spot with the Oilers

    Sep 14, 2014, 12:05 AM EDT

    Zack Kassian, Darnell Nurse.

    That’s him, wearing No. 74 for the Oilers, during a pre-season game last year.

  10. Stars prospect Ritchie suffers finger injury

    Sep 13, 2014, 9:45 PM EDT

    Lindy Ruff AP

    Report: He will have it checked out in Dallas.

  11. Snider: Flyers not hiding behind ‘horrible mistake’ of signing Bryzgalov

    Sep 13, 2014, 8:30 PM EDT

    Ilya Bryzgalov Getty Images

    Philly bought out the high-priced goalie in the summer of 2013.

  12. Flames’ prospect Bennett wants to prove he’s NHL ready

    Sep 13, 2014, 7:30 PM EDT

    SamBennett2 Getty Images

    He was taken fourth overall in June’s NHL Draft.

  13. P.K. Subban: ‘I’m not trying to change the game of hockey’

    Sep 13, 2014, 6:30 PM EDT

    P.K. Subban AP

    He re-signed with the Habs this summer. Eight years, $72 million.

  14. Report: Gelinas’ deal “in Eric’s hands”

    Sep 13, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT

    NEWARK, NJ - NOVEMBER 15: Eric Gelinas #22 of the New Jersey Devils skates in an NHL hockey game against the Los Angeles Kings at Prudential Center on November 15, 2013 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images) Getty Images

    The 23-year-old defenseman is prepared to miss camp if a deal isn’t reached.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. G. Bettman (1518)
  2. D. Kuemper (1449)
  3. R. Johansen (1192)
  4. J. Drouin (1192)
  5. J. Tavares (1157)