Blake’s Takes: New and Unloved Teams - Welcome to Blake’s Takes, where I look at the what players and teams stood out to me during the past week of hockey. 1. Do you remember Steven Stamkos? ...
Monday, December 29, 2008
Ryder's on Fire
The Patriots overcame a barrage of injuries to finish the season strong, yet became the first team since the NFL expanded to the 12-team playoff format in 1990 to miss the playoffs despite an 11-5 record. The Celtics had their monumental win streak snapped by the Lakers on Christmas day. The Red Sox had Mark Teixeira snatched out from underneath them by the Evil Empire just last week. Yet all is not lost for New England sports fans.
The Bruins continued their red hot play over the holiday weekend, winning both of their back to back road games on Saturday and Sunday, and pushing the team's winning streak to 8 games, a feat they have not accomplished since the early 90s. David Krejci has points in all 8 of those wins, including an assist (his 26th of the season) on the game winning goal in last night's 2-1 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers.
But perhaps the most pleasant surprise lately has been the play of Michael Ryder. Ryder looked like he was going to be an elite goal scorer in his first 3 seasons with the Montreal Canadiens. He notched 25 goals in his rookie year and then scored 30 in back to back seasons for the Habs. Last year he had an off season though, scoring only 14 goals over 70 games. The Bruins were criticized in the media after signing him to a multi-year deal over the summer, but I don't hear any criticism now. Ryder scored the game winning goal in both contests over the weekend, and leads the NHL with 7 game-winners on the year. In 36 games he's already equaled the 14 goals that he tallied last year.
Hopefully Ryder and the rest of the team can stay hot and continue this win streak into the new year. Tomorrow night will be a tough contest when Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins come to town. It's a good time to be a Bruins fan...