Koivu comes to Ryder’s defence

The Gazette’s Pat Hickey reports that there were plenty of questions being asked in the locker room last night about Michael Ryder’s struggles this season, but Canadiens captain Saku Koivu was quick to defend his winger.

“Everybody has slumps and you notice them more when they come at the beginning of the season,” Koivu said. “He’s in the same spots he’s always been and he’s getting his chances, but he’s having shots blocked or he’s missing the net.”

Ryder spent parts of Saturday’s game on the fourth line and coach Guy Carbonneau said that is when Ryder woke up.

“Curiously, when we put him on the fourth line, he started to work,” Carbonneau said. “In the third period, he was skating and he was working. That’s what he has to do to be successful.”

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