At least those are the sentiments of Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien – and the 17,565 people who packed the Garden on Saturday afternoon to watch the Black & Gold pound on the Carolina Hurricanes, 5-1.
Asked about his once and future winger’s development since joining the Bruins over the summer, Julien said, “I don’t think his game is developing; he’s found his game.
“Put it this way, he’s just in one of those situations where, he is what he is right now
. What I mean by that is, the Ryder you see right now is the Ryder that has been a player in the NHL and throughout his young career.
“He’s been like that for the most part. He’s a gifted goal-scorer, he’s a hard worker, he makes things happen when he’s at his best. We just have to keep pushing him and continue to help him move along in the right direction because he’s been a real helpful addition for our hockey club this year.”
Alongside center David Krejci
and fellow wing Blake Wheeler, Ryder is a major part of what has been the Bruins most productive line of late.
“I think that second goal that Ryder scored, that play -- I kind of just looked at my assistant coaches and just kind of shook my head,” he said.
“You don’t stop those guys from making those plays when they’ve got that kind of ability.”
Of the play, Ryder just said, “He knew I was there. He just threw it there to me, so it was pretty much what just happened.”
It’s been happening a lot.
“It’s been pretty good, [and I’ve] been fitting in really well with the line, and we seemed to be having that much chemistry right away.
“For us, we’ve got to make sure we keep doing it every night. It’s pretty much what we talked about: be consistent every game and not try and give the other team too much. For us as a line, when we play in the offensive zone, we have a lot more success than in our own end.”
Ryder said the trials and tribulations pertaining to the end of his stay in Montreal are over.
“For me, coming into the season, I was trying to forget about what happened last year and put it behind me to make sure I fit in with this team and to try and help this team win,” he said. “Right now, I think the pucks are starting to go in for me.
“The first part of the year, it was a little tough. I was shooting and it wasn’t going in. Now, since I’ve been playing with Wheeler and Krejci, we’ve been having chemistry and it seems like things have been going good.”
Ryder admitted that things are fun in Boston.
“It is a lot of fun when you’re in there,” he said with a laugh. “That’s the best thing about it. That’s what we say in the line when we go out there: 'Make sure you’re having fun.' Then, everything will go from there.”