And just like that, as mysteriously as they arrived, the Bobby Ryan trade rumors were gone.
ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun is reporting Anaheim GM Bob Murray has “quieted things down” on the Ryan trade front. Murray informed both Ryan and inquiring teams he wants to see how the Ducks respond to new head coach Bruce Boudreau before making any (other) significant moves.
So case closed? I guess, even though we’re still left with the mystery of why Ryan was made available in the first place. James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail suggested that “reading between the lines…Ryan and Carlyle weren’t getting along and one had to go,” which is probably as legit a theory as any, even though it’s difficult to find corresponding evidence.
Ryan was third among all Ducks forwards in minutes per game (19:01) and routinely got to play with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. He’s also enjoyed three 30-goals seasons on Carlyle’s watch (an average 20:11 TOI last year), so it’s not like he was being stifled offensively.
Digging deeper for a conflict…there has always been befuddlement over Ryan’s lack of powerplay opportunities. Carlyle often rode his first unit of Visnovsky-Fowler-Getzlaf-Perry-Selanne, meaning Ryan only got around two minutes of PP time a game. Carlyle also dropped Ryan to the third line with Maxime Macenauer and Niklas Hagman, one of his final moves as head coach.
None of those seem indicative of a major rift between coach and player, though.
In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.
For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.
Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.
Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.
They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.
Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.
Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.
The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.
To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).
Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:
Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):
McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: