One year ago, Bobby Ryan asked rhetorically, “Can you imagine how good I’m going to be playing for this guy?” Ryan was of course referring to then new head coach Bruce Boudreau. Gabby, as our Ducks coach is sometimes known, had suggested that he’d like to build a line around Ryan.
No more caddying for The Twins. No more getting blamed for the Ducks problems. No more being the first name to pop up in trade rumors.
Fast forward to one year later and the only thing that has changed is that Randy Carlyle got far more out of Bobby Ryan than it appears Bruce Boudreau may ever realize. Ryan is currently on pace for a 20 goal 55 point 82 game season.
The goal of building a line around Ryan seems to have gone the way of fax machines and proper grammar.
Nick Bonino and Teemu Selanne were the first to skate alongside Ryan when this season-short began. That gave way to a succession of line mates not named Koivu, Cogliano or Winnick.
Bobby Ryan is on pace for the worst season statistically of his career. Always a streaky goal scorer, one might argue that Ryan would get hot and finish an 82 game season with 30+ goals and 65+points. That is more wishful thinking and excuse making though.
Bobby Ryan is his record. Right now his record is, to be polite about it, disappointing.
Two things show up in his stats that might have something to do with Bobby Ryan’s “off-year.” His TOI is down substantially from his 34 goal 71 point career best season in 2010-11. Back then Ryan’s ATOI was 20:10 per game. This season his ATOI is 16:35. The other stat that leaps off the page is his shooting percentage of 10.87 is down from a career average of 14.8. For a guy who takes 204 to 270 shots on goal per season, Bobby’s accuracy issue is costing him 8-10 goals this year.
Note: This is also the first time in his career that Ryan’s ratio between goals and assists is statistically significant.
The question of course is why? One difference between how Ryan is used is that today he is almost exclusively used a sniper. When was the last time you saw Ryan deke out a couple-3 opposition players on his way to the net? Thought so, it’s been quite awhile.
There’s a huge difference between going to the net and/or getting into a shooting lane and attacking the net with the puck on your stick.
Ryan must become a tad more selfish with the puck and take more responsibility for finishing plays in the offensive zone. Bobby Ryan is among the league’s best, one on one, and he simply isn’t exploiting those opportunities.
This would fix most of it but not all. Obviously, Ryan needs to take more shooting accuracy drills. Pull out the old shooter tutor and have at it. Me? Most times I’d pick a spot on the boards and shoot at it. Try and hit it from different angles. That shooter tutor was the best goalie I ever came up against.