So the big news in Senator Nation this week was that Bobby Ryan was scratched from the line up against San Jose. The result was a Ottawa win 5-2. Now, all the talk radio pundits throw out all sorts of scenarios about the moving of Ryan. I am a fan of Bobby Ryan’s offensive skills. He has great vision, good finish, and will play in the tough areas. The knock on Ryan has always been his inability to move his feet. Ryan also carries the burden of a 7.25 million cap hit, which by the way is not his fault. Former General Manager Bryan Murray signed him to this deal.
New Coach DJ Smith has given him a look on the power play at the top of the umbrella which is a much different role than he had before. Ryan has not adjusted well to this and was removed from the unit.
The NHL game has changed so much in the last five years. It has become faster and more skilled. What makes me wonder is why things have not evolved in” The Ryanverse”. The Ottawa Senators and Ryan both know that his quickness is an issue. The Senators have not said it directly, but they have said team speed must improve. It certainly looks that no steps have been in the last three to four years to address the issue. The question is why? Has Ryan decided not to take the necessary steps in the off seasons to improve his quickness or have the Senators not had the hard discussion with him. Either way it is a discipline issue.
Discipline is a two way street. Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban defines discipline as: something that I know I am supposed to do that I really do not want to do. Can you make yourself do it or something that you know you are not supposed to, but you want to do it? Can you keep yourself from doing it? Ryan knows what he needs to do, but I am also going to give Coach Smith some credit. He made this a Ryan issue. It is about him not doing what it takes to get better every day. He became complaisant. He was surviving not striving to get better. It was not fair to the21 other guys that were working their tails and he was not. Coach Smith had the discipline to make the choice. Good on him and the GM for having the courage to do it. There is no I in Team, but there is one in Win. Professional hockey is about winning.
A good friend once asked a player in training camp can you count. He said sure why? So tell me how many guys you have to out play to make the team. The player could not answer, he was told to figure it out soon or you will be down the highway. Ryan needs to count because he is the sixth winger on a four winger team. Adversity is alive and well in The Ryanverse and we will soon see if he has the discipline to get himself back into the line-up. It is hard to be successful in pro hockey but even harder to stay successful.
Let’s see what Ryan can do.
Until next time!
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