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.
It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.
To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:
The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)
That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:
They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.
Cheap shot on a superstar, a little uncalled goalie interference and presto – Blue Jackets win!
The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.
You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.
That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:
Coach Bylsma: Feel like after Jack's goal, the game changed for us. #gamechanger