O’Byrne shrugs off nerves in impressive debut

Habs’ Ryan O’Byrne had two assists in his NHL debut Thursday.
Bruce Bennett, Getty Images

The Gazette’s Herb Zurkowsky writes that Canadiens defenceman Ryan O’Byrne made quite an impression during his NHL debut on Thursday night in Boston.

O’Byrne recorded two assists in 14:30 of ice time over 20 shifts. He also had two hits and blocked a shot.

"Things went pretty well," O’Byrne said Friday, after the team’s practice in Verdun. "I kept it simple. I got a couple of points, we got the win and I had some hits.

"Absolutely, I was nervous," he added. "Something’s wrong if you’re not nervous."


  1. nick says:

    I wonder if you could sweeten it up a little more by throwing in Carbo? haha

  2. TradeRyder says:

    A smart pick-up. Recchi has something to prove, and the skills to prove it. He wasn’t favored in PA. Though I am glad the habs didn’t pick him up, I think he has life in him.
    Thanks for the line changes I asked for Carbs! Now, do the defense!

  3. TradeRyder says:


    How about this one…

    Bob – “You know Guy, maybe it’s not the lines, maybe the team needs to find it’s idenity. ”
    Guy – “Identity? We didn’t need an identity when we were winning Stanley cups! Why do these guys need one?”
    Bob – “Well maybe it’s not that the need one, maybe they need a NEW one.”
    Guy – “They’re the Montreal Canadiens – 24 Stanley cups, the most winning team in hockey – that’s their identity.”
    Bob – “They’re also a team that missed the playoffs by a point last year, has gone decades without a top goal-scorer, failed to land a major forward free agent, has lost more games in the third period than anyone wants to remember, and whose captain has put up with so much BS in the last 10 years that he sometimes wants to leave (and no-one blames him).”
    Guy – “So what would that new identity be?”
    Bob – “Let me get on the phone and I’ll see if I can trade Ryder and Brisebois for one.”
    Guy – “You might want to sweeten the pot a little. Throw in Halak.”
    Bob – “Good idea.”

    Thanks for the line changes I asked for Carbs! Now, do the defense!

  4. showey47 says:

    off topic, recchi a thrasher

  5. TradeRyder says:

    With the knock on Bob for some of his trades and signings (Ribeiro, Bonk, Smolinski, Breeze-bye), Hamrlik was a really smart signing. Without him we’d be sub-500 I bet. Many nights he’s the most solid Hab on the ice. He’s the ONLY guy on the team that when he has the puck in our end I don’t worry. He knows how and when to use position, momentum, when to pass, when to pause – he’s like a defensive clinic. As for the Cube, I am not a fan. Maybe he does’t play enough to pick up an assist… he’s a little pitbull for sure, but maybe that lets people overlook his lack of upside in other areas. Though he is only a minus-1 which is average on the team so he must be playing decent D.

    Thanks for the line changes I asked for Carbs! Now, do the defense!

  6. Gilles Poisson says:

    A nice man used to write on his blog the imaginary conversations of Bob Gainey. I would like to do this for you also. Here is Bob talking with any GM in the league.
    Brrring. Brrrring. “Hello?” “Hello it’s Bob Gainey. Listen we gotta get rid of this Ryder guy…” Click.
    Thank you.

  7. RH says:

    I can’t explain Hamrlik but,can you explain to me how Bouillon has no points so far this season? Not to knock the guy because, he’s a good defenseman for his size but, at least an assist no?

  8. TradeRyder says:

    Can someone explain this to me… How is Roman Hamrlik a + 10 and the next closest guy is a +3 on a team with only 5 plus players. And does this show that a veteran coming from ANOTHER team has a better understanding of how to play the game than our home-grown guys?

    Thanks for the line changes I asked for Carbs! Now, do the defense!

  9. gumper says:

    I’m looking forward to seeing O’Byrne in action tonight as I missed the Boston game. Really hoping for another win, to settle the team down. Winning means the coach is more likely to stick with reasonably stable lines for a while. I’m hoping the injuries to Begin and Smolinski aren’t serious, but a slightly shortened bench might not be such a bad thing in the short term. Well, actually the only shortened bench is the one in the press box, but I think that’s a good thing too. Nobody feels like they’re being left out of the action.

  10. TradeRyder says:

    I agree about not crowning O’Byrne – or Price – or anyone. that’s just foolishness. What is good is to see the team moving in the right direction though. And making REAL changes… we can talk all day about what is going wrong with the chemistry. But each positive change breathes some life into a team that must be tired of not just weeks of adversity but YEARS. Koivu deserves a medal for still being around through all this team has gone through. And for still playing with heart. Personally the thing I was most shocked about in our Novemember slump is his play. Like Huet said the team is a little fragile… you know its true when even Koivu doesn’t give it his all every game. He seems to be back – and the team does too… but whether it sticks is up to Carbo…. and the team chemistry… whic we know all know less abot than we would like.

    Thanks for the line changes I asked for Carbs! Now, do the defense!

  11. RH says:

    I think 24 Cups sums it up best. This kid has a long way to go before we can start, uh, crowning his ass. If the Habs continue to struggle through out the rest of the season, like they have the past few weeks, I actually think this could be a good thing for him, as well as the rest of the rookies on the club. Learning to handle adversity early on in there career can only be a good thing moving forward.

  12. showey47 says:

    very impressive debut, but the real test is if he can be relativly consistent game in and game out? Hopefully he can be the next komisarek but i do think ryan is already a better skater. His size will definatley come in handy against big skilled players, he has without a doubt top 4 potential.

  13. RiverviewCanadien says:

    I hope he stays for a bit, if not permanently. I am very happy to see some of the younger talent getting a shot. Keep it guys!


  14. 24 Cups says:

    Ryan will certainly have a different experience tonight playing at home and having to contend with the high flying Carolina forwards. He’ll have to be careful in terms of taking ‘obstruction’ penalities which can be a probem for a big player – just ask Komisarek.
    I think that the coaching staff and fans alike will have to keep in mind that he is just a rookie and that he is going to make lots of mistakes – once again just like Komisarek did in the beginning. But something tells me that this guy is going to turn out to be the real deal. Once McDonagh (I’m not that upset about him not being selected for Team USA) arrives in a few years we will have five defensemen who will exhibit a perfect blend of size, skill, and poise. With Price having a few years of experience under his belt in net we will have the defensive foundation in place for a Cup run.

  15. mar-lin says:

    These kinds of things go a long way for me, it helps to diminish the pain of the games lost. I really have enjoyed watching these kids develop and the more youth that comes up and helps like O’Byrne the better! I look forward to seeing him against the top teams…the future does indeed look good.


    good luck to ryder tonight…

    go habs go

  16. mar-lin says:

    message for Dave Stubbs…I don’t know if this is of any interest to the gazette. I just found out that “bill Edwards/Cheers” is closing his doors permanently. The south shore cheers is closing tonight i think. I just thought it was strange that nothing’s been mentioned about it(unless i missed it). I’ve met many sports personalities at the cheers downtown. I remember buying Brian Leetch a beer there, only to then have him ask me how to get to “chez pare”!I can still hear coach talking about the various sports guys who used to frequent the place. Anyway so many sports memories, it’ll be sad to see it go.

    sorry for the off topic post

    go habs go

  17. TradeRyder says:

    Really impressed with O’Byrne in his first game. Seems to have a good skill set and his size, speed, and age should make the jump easier. Something to be said for holding them back a little (like Chipchura).

    Also in this article, great to hear Ryder’s reaction to his benching. “We won the game so there’s not much to complain about.” Great team attitude. Makes me believe in him a little more.

    Thanks for the line changes I asked for Carbs! Now, do the defense!

  18. 24 Cups says:

    So David Legwand of Nashville signed a contract extension at $4.5 mil a year for six years. This is further proof that the NHL needs protection from itself. Legwand is a great skater who plays a decent two way game but he has never lived up to his potential. He will always be a second line centre. But I guess that $4.5 mil is the going rate in these days of salary caps and UFA & RFA’s. I only bring this up on a Habs site because Montreal will be facing the same situation with two of it’s brighest rising stars next year – Higgins and Komisarek. Gainey was either very lucky or very resourceful in signing these two guys to the same two year contracts earlier in the year for $1.5 mil and $1.9 mil. This was before the Penner shoe dropped and Kevin Lowe decided to totally destroy the salary grid for young players (essentially to save him sorry butt). Well the new bar has been set and I guess Gainey will have no choice but to match it. It’s all about the cap, it’s all about the cap. It’s all about the cap.

  19. habitual says:

    I too have been quietly worrying about what happens when Higgins and Komy’s contracts are up. But, they both love playing for the Habs, we’ll have some cap space free by then (Ryder will be gone, and I think by then Price’s play will allow us to say, regrettably, goodbye to Huet). We also on the whole have a very young team and should benefit from the first three years’ relative protection the CBA allows for with young players.

  20. earl says:

    Gainey’s got the right idea – gradually increase the size and toughness index on the team . Much needed.

    Brisebois was a temporary stop gap but his days should now be considered numbered.

  21. habitual says:

    While Komisarik and O’Byrne’s sizes make comparisons inevitable, I see two different styles.

    Komy’s very physical and his learnings had to do with not always looking to make the hit. Often he would take himself out of the play and leave a 2 on 1 situation. Even this year when Carbo was miked up I heard him say to Komy: don’t always go for the man, take the puck first.

    It’s only one game, but what I saw in O’Byrne was a reliance on a nice pair of wheels. He also looks like he can make outlet passes. That is something we need, and that lacking led us to bringing back Brisebois (who has played better on the whole than we would have thought).

    But it sure is lip smacking good to think of two big D on our blue line!

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