Bruins reward Ryder with more ice time, and he rewards them with a goal

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Bruins reward Ryder with more ice time, and he rewards them with a goal

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com

BOSTON -- Michael Ryder stood in the Bruins' locker room at the TD Garden after Monday's 3-0 win over the New Jersey Devils, in which he scored the first goal of the game, and was asked if his mindset had changed after being moved to a line with Gregory Campbell and Brad Marchand.

He looked up, smiled, and came back with a well thought-out answer.

"We have four lines on this team that can play, you know, and playing with Soup and Marchy was a little adjustment," said Ryder.

His response wasn't odd. It was the right thing to say. But approximately 15 minutes later, we found out he had no real reason to be upset with the line change.

He was just being rewarded.

Ryder wasn't ready to throw his former linemates under the bus. He wasn't about to call out Tyler Seguin and Daniel Paille. Because in reality, the swap of Ryder-for-Shawn Thornton was about nothing more than finding Ryder more ice time, something he began to see much less of while on the right wing with Seguin and Paille.

So after back-to-back losses in which the Bruins scored only one goal against Montreal and Ottawa, coach Claude Julien decided to shake things up, for reasons that weren't known until his postgame press conference, minutes after Ryder was peppered with postgame questions of his own.

"What you've got to remember, too, for Michael, is that playing with Seguin and whoever has been on the left wing, Paille and other guys; when you look at their ice time, it hasn't always been to maybe what Ryder has been deserving of," said Julien. "Some way, you try to find him some more ice time. And I think, the more ice time you get, the more you get involved in the game. And I think, putting him on that line, gave him that edge, and with the games we've lost lately, we have to find a little something, and try and tweak our lines here."

It says a lot about Seguin and Paille, who continue to see less and less ice time on a nightly basis. It also says a lot about the contributions that Campbell ("Soup") and Marchand ("Marchy") have made to the team.

But perhaps it says even more about Ryder, a guy who is constantly portrayed as being the first "overpaid" trading chip that should be shipped out of town when it comes time to create salary cap space for the impending returns of Marc Savard and Marco Sturm.

The 4 million winger scored his fifth goal of the season on Monday night. It gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead with 4:34 left in the first period. The Bruins are now a perfect 7-0-0 when scoring the first goal this season.

So needless to say, it was a big one.

"That was part of our game plan tonight, no doubt," said Julien. "The longer you let the other team in the game, the better chance they have of winning. And that's what teams, that come on the road, want to do. They want to stay in there as long as they can. So it was important for us to grab that lead. We seem to be a team that plays better with the lead, obviously, and seemed to build on it, and protect it well. So it was nice to see us get that first goal."

It was also nice to see Ryder get rewarded. And it didn't come while on his new line. He scored on the power play, a 5-on-3 power play, to be exact. He took a Patrice Bergeron pass to the left side of the net, and sniped, short side, from the goal line, on Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur.

"I was looking to pass pretty much the whole time," said Ryder. "I was trying to wait for the right spot, and then it kind of didn't open up, and I looked over and saw Brodeur cheating a little bit, so I just threw it short side on him, and I caught him moving to the left."

Ryder had gone four games without a goal prior to Monday night's win and it was thought Julien wanted more offense, especially in David Krejci's absence. Seeing Ryder's line change at Sunday's practice led to the belief Julien was trying to give Seguin and Paille an offensive boost by adding the energetic Thornton and subtracting Ryder.

It's just the natural reaction when one sees Ryder get bounced down to what was dubbed, unofficially at least, as the Bruins' "fourth line."

Wrong.

Julien has never put a number on one of his lines. So it shouldn't come as a surprise to see Ryder's move as an upgrade in Julien's eyes.

Seguin's line has seen its ice time take a hit. Julien wanted to play Ryder more. He feels he's deserved it.

"He's competing hard, and he comes to play every night," said the Bruins' coach after Monday's win. "He's scored some big goals for us. He's made some big plays, too. You look at some of the assists he's got. They've been some pretty good passes for goals.

"He's into it, there's no doubt," added Julien. "He's confident right now. I guess he's playing on, probably, more confidence than he did at this time last year."
Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comdannypicard

Bruins’ new Warrior Ice Arena practice facility to open Sept. 8.

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Bruins’ new Warrior Ice Arena practice facility to open Sept. 8.

The Bruins’ new practice facility has been years in the making and they will finally get to officially open the doors to Warrior Ice Arena in Brighton next month. 

The B’s players will start informal captain’s practice skates at the new facility on the New Balance property in these final days of August, but the team announced on Friday that the new facility will be officially opened to the public on Thursday, Sept. 8.

Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, Bruins CEO Charlie Jacobs, team president Cam Neely, general manager Don Sweeney and a number of players will be on hand for the opening ceremony and ensuing open house for the media. Also planning to attend from New Balance will be Owner and Chairman Jim Davis and NB Development Group LLC Managing Director Jim Halliday, along with Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Massachusetts Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo. 

Following the formal portion of the event, Warrior Ice Arena will host the “Boston Youth All-Star Game featuring Bruins Alumni” which will feature local squirt players from the Boston communities of Allston-Brighton, Charlestown, Dorchester, Hyde Park, South Boston and West Roxbury mixed in with members of the Bruins alumni. 

The Youth All-Stars will team with Bruins alumni and they will play the first official game before the ice is turned over to the current Bruins players for their training camp later in the month.

The Warrior Ice Arena gets its name from the Warrior brand of hockey equipment that is now a division of New Balance and comes with a 79-foot high Warrior hockey stick that greets visitors at the front entrance doors.

Warrior Ice Arena will be the B’s new and permanent practice home after the Bruins spent 25-plus years practicing in the suburbs of Boston at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington. 

 

Friday, Aug. 26: Coyotes keep taking on dead money in latest deal

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Friday, Aug. 26: Coyotes keep taking on dead money in latest deal

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while finally catching up on “The Man in the High Tower” on Amazon.

*The Coyotes and Panthers executed a trade sending Dave Bolland to Arizona, and it’s not exactly great news for Gary Bettman with Arizona continuing to take on a lot of dead money.

*Alex Pietrangelo was appropriately humbled to be named the 21st captain in the history of the St. Louis Blues.

*The Colorado Avalanche have a new head coach, and his name is Jared Bednar, who it is said will get the players to play hard for him.

*The footage of somebody in full goalie equipment running away from a burglary scene is something out of a movie.

*The New York Rangers can never have enough depth, and that’s why they added Brandon Pirri to the mix on Thursday.

*PHT writer Cam Tucker says Lawson Crouse brings the total package in the trade from Florida to Arizona, and he also brings a player that can take a hell of a hit as he was the guy that got rocked by Charlie McAvoy at the World Junior Showcase earlier this month.  

*It’s only 15 days until the US National Team Development Program gets going with their 2016-17 schedule: here it is in full.

*For something completely different: can you see David Ortiz’s face in this corn maze? This could be like an ink blot test.