BOSTON — While some could argue that rookie Brad Marchand or journeyman Trent Whitfield might be a better option in the Bruins’ lineup right now, head coach Claude Julien is sticking by winger Michael Ryder.
The veteran, who has scored just one goal in 17 games, is expected to be in his usual spot on right wing with center David Krejci and left winger Blake Wheeler tonight at TD Garden against Florida. Julien thinks he saw enough from Ryder in Tuesday night’s win at New Jersey to be encouraged about the forward’s potential production.
Ryder had gone two straight games without a shot on net before registering three shots on goal against the Devils, including a golden opportunity that was snuffed out by Martin Brodeur in the opening seconds of the third period.
“He hasn’t been scoring. That’s obviously something we want to see more from him,” Julien said after today’s morning skate. “But I’m going to talk more about the last game. He competed a lot harder, he was winning those battles, his feet were moving. He almost got the lead there at the beginning of the third. He used his speed, walked around the D and took it to the net. Those are things he’s capable of doing.
“We’ve been on him lately a lot more at bringing some consistency to his game that way. He’s capable of doing it and there’s no better time than to do it right now.”