The slumping New Jersey Devils are shaking things up tonight, but doing it in a surprise fashion — parking second-leading scorer Michael Ryder in the press box as a healthy scratch.
More, from NJ.com:
“Yeah, I’m angry. Of course I’m angry,” Ryder said when asked by NJ Advance Media. “You want to play. Especially when I think I can help the team. If the coach doesn’t feel you can help the team, it’s his decision.”
Ryder said he cannot recall the last time he was a healthy scratch and he didn’t see this coming.
“Nope. It’s the coach’s decision. He’s got to do what he’s got to do,” Ryder said. “Obvioulsy you have to score goals, but the whole team is struggling to score goals. (Pete DeBoer) has decisions he thinks are best and if I don’t fit in, that’s it.”
Ryder hasn’t scored a goal in 11 games, but does have 12 points in 24 contests — just three points back of Jaromir Jagr for the team lead.
What’s more, the 34-year-old hasn’t seen a dip in his ice time recently. Ryder averages 14:13 TOI per game and has received more than that in each of the last two games, including 16:50 in a 5-4 shootout loss to Detroit last Friday.