BOSTON, MA -
|Boston Bruins right wing Michael Ryder, bottom, beats Carolina Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward (30) for a second period goal during Game 1 of an NHL Eastern Conference semi-final hockey game, Friday, May 1, 2009 in Boston.(AP Photo/Charles Krupa) |
Friday night made it a five-game postseason win streak for the Boston Bruins. It also made it a five-game point streak for Black & Gold right wing Michael Ryder.
The Bruins forward scored a goal and an assist in Friday’s Game 1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes, 4-1, in front of a sold-out Garden crowd. In the previous round, Ryder compiled seven points (four goals, three assists) against the swept Canadiens. Those numbers, and his 26-27-53 line during an injury shortened regular season, have removed any doubts about his worth to the B's after an off 2007-08 as a forward in Montreal.
“It’s just our line right now,” Ryder said about having a point in every postseason game. “We’re doing a lot of good things right there.
“I think just keeping things simple and not trying to do too much. When you play hard and get pucks to the net, good things happen.”
And good things have happened -- frequently.
In five postseason games thus far Boston has outshot their combined opponents 154-138 and have outscored them 21-7, with no game seeing fewer than four Boston tallies.
Ryder attributes the high-scoring victories and ideal, even-strength goals to a depth in his team that seeps through every line.
“I think just keeping things simple and not trying to do too much. When you play hard and get pucks to the net, good things happen.” - Michael Ryder
“It’s one of our strengths, and I think we’re doing a good job just going through the four lines,” he said after the game Friday night. “Everybody’s producing. We knew that, you’ve got that four lines, you can keep going with that and wear the other team down.
It’s only early in the series, but I think as the series goes on I think we have the advantage of it.”
Depth aside, Ryder alone has been a postseason standout in the Hub of Hockey.
“It’s hard to stop the puck when you can’t see it with a shot like Rydes,” defenseman Aaron Ward said after the game.
But with perfection, comes the worry of slipping, and Ryder is under no false impressions that the B’s squad might be a little rusty on the whole after such a long wait-period.
“Sometimes I think we were a little too excited and didn’t do things right,” said Ryder. “We worked hard in practice this last week on that and I think we were a little too excited early in the game and I think as the game went on we got a lot better.
“I thought maybe we were a little sluggish, but we came back to win and that’s the main thing.”
|The referee points at Boston Bruins' Michael Ryder after he scored during the second period Game 1. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson) |
Rust or not, five perfect games is five perfect games, and there are reasons for that, too.
“I think we’re just doing a good job getting pucks to people at the net and we’re clogging it up the neutral zone – a good example, especially on Rydes’ goal when he came off the bench and he was in perfect position there,” Lucic, Ryder’s linemate, said after the game.
“One of the things we wanted to do coming into playoff time was be a lot more disciplined,” Ryder said. “I think in the first series we did it and tonight I think we did a great job too.”