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A New Hope

by Staff Writer / Anaheim Ducks

By Matt Vevoda


AnaheimDucks.com

While highly regarded rookie Bobby Ryan is getting his latest opportunity as a direct result of Corey Perry’s injury, the pressure has not been bestowed on him to replace the All-Star’s production just yet.

“To some degree, I'm sure that Bobby was scared to death coming back,” Carlyle said. “Instead of putting him in a situation where there's a tremendous amount of pressure on him, let him feel his way back here.”

In trying to alleviate that burden, Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle decided to start Ryan’s third stint with the team with the rookie on the energetic fourth line during last night’s 3-1 victory over Montreal.

“To some degree, I'm sure that Bobby was scared to death coming back,” Carlyle said. “Instead of putting him in a situation where there's a tremendous amount of pressure on him, let him feel his way back here.”

It didn’t take long for Ryan to make his presence felt on that line, as he made a great steal 2:18 into the game before heading up ice and feeding Brian Sutherby on a cross-ice pass that just bounced off his stick.

“Bobby obviously adds a different element,” Sutherby said. “He’s a skilled guy and a guy who is very strong. He likes to control the puck. When you play with guys like that, you just try to get to open.”

In 12:39 of overall ice time, of which 5:26 of it came on the power play, Ryan felt good in his new role during his first game back since he was sent to Portland on Jan. 9.

“I stuck to the things that they were asking me to do and tried not to do too much,” Ryan said. “The fact that we won and the guys played a strong game outside the power play made it a lot easier for me to do those things. I think overall it was a good start.”

“I think anybody who comes into my position as the new guy, there is enough pressure as it is,” Ryan said. “For me to come in and worry about filling Corey’s role, that’s another thing."

Said Carlyle, “I thought he did a lot of little things that we want to see from him. He moved the puck up the wall, he was responsible.”

Having enough high expectations bestowed on him as the team’s highest draft pick in its history (a No. 2 overall selection in 2005), Ryan is focused on blocking out any new anxieties while easing his way back onto the team.

“I think anybody who comes into my position as the new guy, there is enough pressure as it is,” Ryan said. “For me to come in and worry about filling Corey’s role, that’s another thing. There is pressure from enough angles. I try not to put that in my mind too much. I try to continue to play and I’ve got such a great group of guys around me.”

While he may may be asked to fulfill an increased role in the offense, Ryan is only focused on making an impact in the role he was put in last night.

“Right now my job is to bring energy on that line, try to create some offense and make sure I’m responsible,” Ryan said. “Until that changes, I’m going to continue to do so.”

NOTES

Before the team departed for their short trip to Phoenix on Monday afternoon, Carlyle had a few thoughts on the Coyotes, who the Ducks are 1-1-3 against entering Tuesday’s tilt.

“I think they’re an energetic hockey club,” Carlyle said. “They’ve got some young players. Bryz has given them some solid goaltending. Their defense core has been together for three years.

“You can see that maturing process has taken place on their back end. It has enabled them to remove the puck from their end more effectively, to be involved more in the rush and the team game that they want to play. That bodes well for transferring the puck out of your own zone through the neutral zone into the opposition zone. It usually leads to a more productive lineup. We respect the Phoenix hockey club because they’ve worked hard and they’ve gained points. They’re playing well and will be in their own building tomorrow night.”

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