We’re still waiting for Michael Ryder’s hot streak.
The veteran right winger, who was supposed to be a major part of the committee that would make up for the loss of Phil Kessel’s scoring touch, never scored a goal in consecutive games all season long en route to an 18-goal campaign in 82 games.
That total was nine fewer than he scored in ’08-09 and included two goals scored in the regular season finale, when the Bruins and Washington had nothing to play for on a Sunday afternoon in D.C.
Unfortunately for the Bruins, Ryder subscribes to the theory that when he’s not scoring the other parts of his game don’t make up for that. So in effect, the team got very little return on its $4 million investment except an albatross that did little to help the league’s worst offense and limited Boston’s options under the salary cap.
That’s the bad news. The worse news is that Ryder is signed for one more season.
Stats: 82 GP, 18-15-33, 35 PIM, plus-3
Season highlight: One of Ryder’s few shining moments came in one of the Bruins’ most important games, as he scored twice in a 5-3 victory at Buffalo in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference first-round series. That allowed the Bruins to steal away home-ice advantage. Throughout the series, Ryder (who also set up Miro Satan’s double-overtime game-winner in Game 4) formed a solid line with Vladimir Sobotka and Blake Wheeler.
Season low-light: Until he scored those two goals against the Capitals April 11, Ryder had scored just one goal in his previous 22 games. That means even though the Bruins were in a situation where every game was, for all intents and purposes, a playoff game, Ryder provided nothing to aid the club’s cause in punching its ticket to the postseason.
Final grade: F
Goal-scorers that do little else have to score, and Ryder failed to hold up his end of the bargain as the Bruins tried to march on without Kessel. His lack of desire and awareness in other areas of his game was disappointing both in light of his lack of scoring and the way he showed he could be effective in other ways to when he wasn’t scoring for stretches in ’08-09.
The crystal ball says … unless general manager Peter Chiarelli wants to swap bad contract for bad contract or package Ryder with an attractive asset to make a salary dump, Ryder will be back in the Bruins’ lineup next year. Although they could jolt him with the threat of a demotion to the AHL, there’s no way the Jacobs family will ever pay a player $4 million to play for Providence.