BOSTON — For the last week everyone’s been marveling at how center David Krejci has been putting up points despite the major slumps of his regular wingers Blake Wheeler and Michael Ryder.
Well during the Bruins’ inexcusable 1-0 loss to lowly Florida at TD Garden tonight, Krejci worked another magic trick. He fired five shots on net, while his linemates managed to go shot-less.While there might’ve been other Bruins that didn’t pull their weight in this preposterous defeat, Wheeler and Ryder stuck out the most because of their role on the team as top-six forwards and the depth of their struggles.
Ryder now has one goal in the last 18games, and Wheeler hasn’t scored for nine games. If the Bruins’ offense is a pimpled face, Wheeler and Ryder are a pair of popped black heads that you can avert your eyes from. Their collective play is that bad.
“Those guys, and if you want to be specific about that, Krejci had two shots after two periods so that’s all that line had generated at one point,” Julien said. “The chances, Wheeler goes on the 2-on-1 and he tries to deke but doesn’t get a shot. Those kind of things. And Ryder is a guy that’s probably our best shooter and ends up with zero shots. So those are the things that we need from those players. And I thought Ryder played a much better game in New Jersey (Tuesday), and tonight we needed more out of him as well.
“He’s one of a few more that we needed more out of.”
Ryder, who registered three shots on goal against the Devils, has now put up a goose egg in the shots column in three of his last four games. A disappointing season is crawling to an incredibly ineffective end for the would-be sniper just when the Bruins, and the league’s worst offense, need him most. He seems to know what he has to do, but can’t turn those words into actual actions.
“Definitely when you don’t score, you’re thinking about things a lot and you’ve got tendency not to move your feet and you take too much out there,” said Ryder, who has just 16 goals this season. “That’s when things don’t go well and it’s just a matter of taking it on yourself and saying ‘alright, just battle in the areas and everything will turn around eventually and just shoot the puck.’”
One approach Ryder might want to try is practice what he preaches. And Wheeler might want to follow his teammates lead. Or if the offensive game isn’t there on a given night, do something else to contribute. That was the message from veteran Mark Recchi, who fired six shots on net and was all over the Florida zone all night.
“You have to find ways,” he said. “If you’re a goal-scorer and you’re not scoring goals, you’ve got to be physical; and you got to play great defensively. And if you’re a physical guy, then you know, you’ve got to chip in at times, so there’s a whole bunch of factors that play into this and I think we have to with five games remaining.
“(If) we don’t have 20 guys, we don’t win and (if) we do, we win.”
Recchi wants all-out efforts from his cohorts before it’s too late. That means no more Houdini acts by some of Boston’s most-relied-upon players, especially Michael Ryder and Blake Wheeler.