A Fast Start for Bobby Ryan

Photo via Paul Sancya – Detroit Free Press

Bobby Ryan seems to have won the hearts of many Red Wings fans throughout the state of Michigan and nationally. Ryan’s tough past made him easy to root for and an inspiration type talent this team desperately needed. Fast forward three games into the season and I’m sure no one including GM Steve Yzerman and Head Coach Jeff Blashill would have ever thought you’d use the words “League Leader” and “Bobby Ryan” in the same sentence but here we are. Ryan has totaled four goals in three games since the Wings started their 2021 season. No Red Wing in history has ever accomplished this feat and we are talking about a team that brought in Brett Hull and Luc Robitaille in as free agents in the early 2,000’s. Bobby Ryan’s story continues to create hope and show that even a team that was picked to finish dead last by most NHL Writers can still not only compete at a very high level but also win. 

There is no doubt, when you watch the play of Ryan you can tell the 14 year veteran knows what he is going to do with the puck before he even gets it. A trait many Red Wing followers hope he can pass onto the younger group such as Zadina and Rasmussen. In the last contest against the Blue Jackets coach Blashill decided to break up the “Big Line” of Larkin, Mantha and Bertuzzi resulting into some very puzzling line combinations that no one saw including during the shortened training camp. The Line was of course put back together on the Power Play were Mantha was able to bury his first goal of the year. Ryan was placed on the second line with the young center Rasmussen and winger Anthony Mantha. The Line played well together. It was often mentioned during the broadcast, that Mantha and Ryan had both taken power skating training very serious this off-season. The veteran leadership and creativity that Ryan brings to this year’s Detroit team has been noticeable since he played his first game with the winged wheel on his chest. All the early signs are pointing that Stevie Y may have worked his magic already and brought in a piece that can really help this team develop into a cup contender in the coming years.

One answer that has stuck in my head since his first post-game interview with Larry Murphy and John Keating on Fox Sports Detroit was.

John Keating: “At this stage in your hockey existence, you had options, Why Detroit?”

With no hesitation, Bobby Ryan replied “Steve Yzerman haha”

The excitement in his voice really showed how grateful he was for the opportunity to not only make a NHL team but to compete at a level to earn a spot on a team’s top six forwards. The 33-year-old forward has had some off the ice issues that caused him to leave the game he loved. Since then, he has battled back and so far exceeded the expectations of many in the hockey community.

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