BOLTON, Mass. — If Michael Ryder’s reduction in scoring from the ’08-09 season to last year was his first production dip, he might be more discouraged entering into this season.
But you’ll remember that the year before he joined the Bruins, Ryder had followed a 30-goal campaign with a 14-score season. So before today’s charity golf tournament, Ryder was brimming with confidence that he’ll erase the evil memories of his 18-goal campaign in black and gold this winter.
“You’ve just kind of got to forget about it and think about things why you didn’t have a good year and try to fix that. That’s what makes players get consistent and I’ve got to try and work on that and try to get better,” said Ryder, whose first Boston season featured 27 goals before his nine-goal decline.
The Bruins’ offense was last in the NHL last season, and Ryder knows that as one of the players with a goal-scoring pedigree, and the owner of a contract that pays him $4 million, a lot of the onus for turning things around rests on his shoulders.
“The whole team didn’t score goals last year. We had a hard time putting the puck in the net in the regular season. When you’re looked at to score goals and the team’s not scoring, you’re kind of one of the guys that’s under the gun,” he said. “And I kind of accept that I’ve just got to try and find ways to make that happen.”
It was thought that Ryder might not get a chance to turn things around in a Boston uniform over the season. By the looks of the comments on this blog, you’d have thought Ryder had changed his first name to Buyout. But general manager Peter Chiarelli told Ryder the winger he would be back in exit meetings last spring, and that’s how things played out over the summer.
Ryder said he ignored the trade rumors and, although he only skated a couple times over the summer, he focused on what he has to improve on to make his mark with the Bruins this season.
“For me personally, I know the things I have to get better at from last year. And I expect to try and shoot the puck more and try and put the puck in the net,” he said.