On March 22nd, here at National Hat Trick Productions, I cast my vote for Ryan Callahan.
And tonight, he did indeed win the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award on Garden ice. Very much deserved and I don't think anyone can deny it. The guy has played game in, game out, for the Rangers this year. A spark when they needed it, and never taking a night off.
Any time Steven McDonald is at the Garden, and especially on the nights he's there to give the annual award given in his name, it is special. A man that sacrificed everything for others and yet who still has such a strong spirit, Mr. McDonald is a shining example of what any person - and any Ranger - should be.
A willingness to sacrifice.
A passion for the game.
A strong determination to make it happen.
Congratulations, Ryan. An honor very much deserved.
To flash back, here are some highlights of what I said a few weeks ago on #24:
". . .he is one of perhaps only three - three - players on this team to have played the game with the same exact attitude and energy - the right attitude and the right energy - since game one this season. If this guy took a night off, I didn't see it."
"His linemates may have been switched around constantly, and he may have played on every line this season, but his attitude and work ethic never wavered. He is a great team guy and someone I always noticed and respected on this team."
"That's why guys like Adam Graves, Sandy McCarthy, and Jed Ortmeyer won the award. They did more than what was expected from them. They were guys giving extra, and giving it all the time.
Ryan Callahan is very much in that same mold."
"The Rangers have a few more guys as of late that are playing with energy and enthusiams, joy for a game we all love. But Ryan Callahan did that each and every game, even in the very, very bad ones.
Ryan Callahan for Extra Effort. The guy truly has gone above and beyond."
**Big win for the Rangers. I am still not sure what this all means in "big picture," but they did all they had to do tonight, and did it pretty convincingly. Entertaining game all around.**