Bobby Ryan

Bobby Ryan on his future: “My next step ultimately would be to break away from Getz and Pears”

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Say this about Bobby Ryan — he isn’t afraid to speak candidly.

In an engaging and wide-open interview with Eric Stephens of the OC Register, the Anaheim winger answered questions about his season, his future and the next step in his career.

Ryan’s answer to the latter was really interesting and gave insight to the Ducks’ pecking order.

“My next step ultimately would be to break away from Getz [Ryan Getzlaf] and Pears [Corey Perry],” Ryan said. “I think we’ve had chemistry. But at some point,  you’re going to have to prepare for life after Teemu [Selanne]. I’d like to fill into that role and have that second line be built. I think I can step into Teemu’s role. I think I can put up 35 to 40 goals year in and year out.

“Personally on the ice, I’d like to be able to break games open a little more. Sometimes when I play with Getz and Pears, I get the feeling like I’ve got to be a secondary guy.”

Now, let’s be clear — this wasn’t Ryan asking out of Anaheim, or to be freed from the shadows of Getzlaf and Perry. But it definitely was about him being the go-to guy on his own line rather than the third option behind the reigning league MVP and a two-time All-Star.

“The opportunities for me to break away from it and try to give us a secondary scoring option on another line, it’s working right now,” Ryan continued. “When those guys [Selanne and Saku Koivu] leave, we have to build a second line. I’d like to do it around myself and be able to make adjustments to my game.”

Again, not a wild or crazy thing to say…but certainly candid. Getzlaf is one of the premier setup men in the business and a big reason why Ryan is on pace for his fourth consecutive 30-goal season. So why is Ryan pushing to get off Getzlaf’s wing?

I suppose this could genuinely be about improving the team. Anaheim’s long thought to be too top-heavy and lacking depth at forward, so in that light Ryan’s initiative to “build a second line” is admirable. But there’s also the fact that, last year, the Perry-Getzlaf-Ryan line carried Anaheim to fourth in the Western Conference and Perry’s Hart Trophy win.

Will the Ducks really want to break that up?

Video: Blandisi scores great between-the-legs goal vs. Flyers

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What a story Joseph Blandisi‘s been for the New Jersey Devils this season.

The 21-year-old played in his first NHL game on Dec. 11 and has stayed with the Devils ever since.

It took him five games to pick up his first career point, but he’s done a whole lot more damage since then.

Blandisi came into Saturday’s action with 10 points in his last 12 games and he added to that against the Flyers.

He opened the scoring with this beautiful between-the-legs goal on goalie Michal Neuvirth (top of the page).

That’s Blandisi’s fourth goal of the season.

Some Twitter reaction to the goal:

Bruins’ Bergeron ruled out for Saturday’s game against Wild

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The Boston Bruins will be without center Patrice Bergeron in Saturday afternoon’s matinee against the Minnesota Wild.

It’s unclear how Bergeron suffered the undisclosed injury, but there’s reason to believe it occurred after he dropped the gloves with Jets forward Blake Wheeler (above).

He’s considered day-to-day at this point.

Losing him for an extended period of time would be devastating for Boston.

“You don’t like seeing your star players (fight), but you also understand that it’s an emotional game and that stuff happens and at one point a player says, ‘Enough is enough and I’m going to stand up for myself,’” Bruins head coach Claude Julien said after the game, as per the Boston Herald.

“From what I gathered there was a lot of slashes behind the legs behind the play and stuff like that. He took things upon himself. As much as you don’t like it, you can’t tell him he’s not allowed. He’s a big boy and he can certainly make some decisions on the ice. And it’s not the first time that he’s fought. But I like the fact that he doesn’t fight much.”

After this incident, there’s no doubt that the Bruins will tell Bergeron to keep his gloves on from now on.

Jets will take one more crack at re-signing Andrew Ladd

Winnipeg Jets' Andrew Ladd (16) and Blake Wheeler (26) celebrate Ladd's goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL action in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. (John Woods/The Canadian Press via AP)
Associated Press
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Jets captain Andrew Ladd still doesn’t have a contract for next season and with the Feb. 29 trade deadline approaching, something’s gonna have to give.

According to TSN’s Gary Lawless, the Winnipeg Jets will make one last push to sign the forward before making him available on the trade market.

Ladd doesn’t want to leave and the team wants to keep him, but after Dustin Byfgulien got an extension earlier this month, there may not be enough money to go around.

At one point, the Jets reportedly made Ladd a six-year offer worth $6 million per year, which he obviously didn’t accept.

Can they top that? Time will tell.

Waiting to trade Ladd is probably the smartest decision.

Keeping the captain around would be great, but if the two sides can’t agree to a new contract, there’ll be no shortage of suitors for Ladd’s services.

Lawless mentions the Penguins, Panthers and Blackhawks as potential landing spots for the 30-year-old.

The Kings have also been mentioned as a potential destination for Ladd.

Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff will have to make some crucial decisions over the next few weeks.

Flyers’ Neuvirth (lower body) will be between the pipes vs. the Devils on Saturday

Philadelphia Flyers goalie Michal Neuvirth (30) of the Czech Republic stops a shot from the Dallas Stars in the third period of an NHL hockey game, Friday, Dec. 11, 2015, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
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Michal Neuvirth will make his first start of the month in Saturday’s game against the New Jersey Devils.

The 27-year-old missed five games with a lower-body injury. He was activated off the injured list earlier this week and served as Steve Mason‘s backup in Thursday’s game against Buffalo.

Neuvirth has an 11-6-2 record with a 2.14 goals-against-average and a .933 save percentage in 2015-16.

He’s put up some solid numbers against the Devils in his career. Neuvirth has a 5-2-4 record with 2.03 goals-against-average and a .927 save percentage in games against New Jersey.

Steve Mason, who’s coming off a 41-save performance in a win over Buffalo, hasn’t been as good against Saturday’s opponent.

Mason is 0-7-0 lifetime against the Devils.

Puck drop is at 1:00 p.m. ET.