|MONTREAL- APRIL 22: Michael Ryder #73 of the Boston Bruins celebrates his first period goal during Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre on April 22, 2009 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images) |
For the Bruins, It feels good to be home.
And for former Canadien Michael Ryder, it felt even better to go "home" and win big.
Ryder, who notched three goals and an assist during his two-game post-season stay in Montreal, found the back of the net twice (and assisted on one tally) in the series-clinching win Wednesday night.
17: 27 into the first period, Ryder put in the equalizer for Boston on an unassisted snap shot. And then, two minutes later, he and Milan Lucic
earned helpers on linemate David Krejci
's game-winning, series-ending point.
"It was definitely a good feeling to beat your old team," Ryder said after the 4-1 win. "I'm a Bruin now and it's a lot of fun."
Fun is one way to put it, and Ryder and the rest of the B's squad seem to have a lot of it, even in games as high-energy and as deeply seeded in rivalry as a Bruins-Habs matchup.
"It was definitely a good feeling to beat your old team...I'm a Bruin now and it's a lot of fun." - Michael Ryder
"Especially with the rivalry [with Montreal]...I think we've done a good job," Ryder said. "We've played really well and especially when we came here, we did a good job in the first period of each game to keep them just to one goal and we came up with the lead in both games."
Of course, Ryder wouldn't be the team leader that he is without the humility he brings to the ice -- and he gives credit to his immense success in the Hub of Hockey to his teammates.
"The first one Krech just helped and I was pretty much wide open and I just took a shot," said Ryder.
That second goal, with 12:43 remaining in the second stanza, was just forward Krecji returning the favor.
"The second one Krecji made a great pass to me and I just had to get it up [and over the goalie]," explained Ryder. "He's definitely got a lot of vision out there and for me I just try to get [open].
"He seems to find me a lot and we've been playing together all year and it seems we click pretty good."
But at the end of the day, Ryder simply came ready to play. Go big or go home...and fortunately, he did a little of both.
|Montreal Canadiens captain Saku Koivu, left, shakes hands with Boston Bruins Michael Ryder following the Bruins victory in Game 4 of the NHL playoff hockey series Wednesday, April 22, 2009 in Montreal. The Bruins beat the Canadiens 4-1 to sweep the best of seven series 4-0. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Paul Chiasson) |
"I think we just had to be patient which we did," he said. "We knew they were going to come out hard both nights and they did that. They kept coming at us the first period and for us it was a matter of just staying patient and not panicking and I think we did a really good job staying calm and as we did that we kind of took control of the game."
For head coach Claude Julien, who also used to be a member of the Montreal club, there is nothing but good things to remember about working in Canada -- but he's a Bruin now, and it's time to look ahead to round two.
"I had a chance, my first opportunity was here in Montreal – they were the first organization that gave me my opportunity – I moved on to New Jersey, and now I’m in Boston," said Julien after the game. "I couldn’t be happier where I am, but that doesn’t take anything away from what happened here."
For Ryder, there weren't any hard feelings as the two teams lined up to shake hands, but part of that is because the Bruins forward is looking to the future now -- looking to round two. Ryder is in Boston now, and he's here to stay.