Ryder has to keep working hard

The Gazette’s Pat Hickey reports that Canadiens head coach Guy Carbonneau wants the struggling Michael Ryder to shoot the puck – a lot. The coach believes Ryder will be able to get out of his slump if he continues to work hard and simplify his game.

"The answer is in Michael’s hands. If he works hard and shoots the puck, good things will happen. He’ll be the first one to tell you he doesn’t like the situation he’s in right now. It’s not fun. When you’re there to score goals, you want to contribute and it’s been hard for him."


  1. RetroMikey says:

    Michael Ryder, as I have always stated from Day 1 has not impressed me enough to be put on the top line with Saku Koivu and Christopher Higgins. A major disappointment along with Guillame Latendresse (send him down to Hamilton Bob!). Yes, he’s trying and improving his defensive game as well, but for how long will we h ave the patience? I have always recommended a second line of Kovalev-Plekanec-Kostitsyn from the beginning of training camp and this line whould be kept intact. But, if we have to, my solution would have to be is put Kostitsyn on the front line and replace him on the second line with Grabovsky. I can’t think of any other line juggling with our current roster. No, Dandeneault is not a 1st liner, keep him on the 3rd or 4th line, we need a sniper. Kostitsyn is a natural sniper and if given the opportunity on the top line, we’ll all be saying “Michael who”?

    “We will win the Cup only with Carey Price in the nets”

  2. habitual says:

    Anonymous, I share some of your frustration with Latendresse, his puck handling and skating are issues. We need his size against Toronto and if he plays big we have enough other skill players … for this game. But otherwise I agree that Grabowski or S Kostitsyn will be better – on Koivu’s line going forward.

    Latendresse is only 20 and concentrating on skill development (power skating and puck handling practice) will put him in a position to succeed, as would playing on the 4th line where expectations will be lower.

    As for Ryder … he’ll have to score at a greater pace than he ever has in order to capture lost ground, and as he is a streaky player that would mean his scoring can only come in spurts.

    I hate to say this, but I think a change of scenery will help both him and the club. We have young players who need and are ready for playing time. Can anyone argue that Grabowski, or Sergi would do worse than Ryder, and that playing them would start their development?

    Trading Ryder now will mean we may still get something for him. Otherwise, 20 games from now he will have the taint of his slump upon him and the fact that he has 1/2 a year left on his contract will mean we’ll get zip for him. So, no, I don’t see things getting better for him, or the hockey team.

  3. drecha says:

    I am confident that Ryder will come out of this slump very soon. He is a natural shooter, all it will take is one goal and I think the flood gates will open. He certainly has the linemates that can and will set him up.

    Here is to a multiple goal game out of Ryder tonight.


  4. Bill H says:

    I am not so sure it will be so easy for Ryder to break the slump. It seems that he is having family problems and this is affecting his concentration and his play. I wish him luck in resolving the situation. A 30 goal scorer could have made the difference against Ottawa on Saturday. He could be the difference against Toronto tonight. Come on Michael. We are pulling for you.

  5. Habs_008 says:

    I hope Ryder breaks out soon, we need the scoring, and tonight is a big game for the Habs, I will be there watching live, Go HABS GO, dont let me down!

  6. J.T. says:

    Ryder’s problems may go deeper than just choosing to deke rather than shoot. I think he’s doing that partly because he’s getting desperate and has lost his confidence in his shot, and partly because the style of his line has changed. I’m not sure he and Higgins are the best fit as linemates anymore. One thing I’ve noticed repeatedly this season is that Ryder and Higgins are often doing the same things. Watch how many times you see the two of them in the same corner or both behind the net at the same time. It may be beneficial to Ryder to get away from Higgins until he gets his confidence back, and maybe a stint with Smoke and Latendresse would help him do that.

    In the meantime, I wouldn’t mind Dandeault stepping into the first line, but NOT Kostopoulos (as someone on the podcast suggested yesterday.) TomK is a hard worker and a good passer, but a first line player has to have a better-than-average degree of finish, which isn’t his strong point. I think Dandenault might fit the minimum requirements.

    Either way, I hope Ryder sorts himself out tonight. I long for this discussion to be moot by next week.

  7. Naila Jinnah says:

    I agree. Ryder might split his time between the first line and the bench if he doesn’t shoot more often (and not deke, as Carbo noted). And I if he does get benched, Dandy is my pick!

  8. krob1000 says:

    I have probably been Ryders biggest supporter in light of his recent slump but I too am growing frustrated with his not shooting the puck. However, I must clarify because I do think he is shooting and that that statement needs to be refined because people who haven’t seen all of the games likely don’t understand where his problem has been. When they are saying shoot the puck they are referring to when he has space….almost too much space (not that that should be possibe).

    He has been consistently shooting when he only has a fraction of a second to decide. His playmaking hasn’t been bad either as he seems to be making a lot more passes and if Higgins or Koivu had potted some his passes his statistics may not seem as poor. His problem right now is mental and as Carbo stated he is thinking Waaaay too much. In shootouts, partial breakaways and situations where it is just he and a goalie he is trying to deke (usually to the backhand). These are the situations where he has to just trust his shot and fire it. I think next time we are in a shootout Guy, Kirk and the crew should tell Michael before his shot to walk in and roof it as hard as he can high glove. 8 out of 10 ten times he will beat a goalie even if they know he is shooting it there.

    This paragraph is referring to breakaways, shootouts, and partial breaks. We also have to realize that goalies are no fools and they are aware of his situation. We are not seeing what Ryder is seeing but I would bet that goalies are playing him heavily to his right and trying to force him to deke and not get off his shot. The solution for him in this instance is to take the shot sooner than maybe he would like but he still has the shot to beat most goalies most of the time.

    “Hope makes for a good breakfast but not such a good dinner”……………..good thing we have to eat every day and not just for the first 16 games of the season. Ryder has been the Iron Chef of the Habs for two years now. Last year these things were being said about Kovy. Early on they were also said about Higgins. I guess it is just the nature of “hockey fans” (what have you done for me lately?).

    He is actually doing better than Patrick Marleau. In fact he is also doing better than Jonathan Cheechoo (another shooter) who also started his last two seasons like this. I agree that this slump has been prolonged and thirty goals is obviously much more difficult in 66 games but I really believe Ryder will make it. Not because I hope he does (although I do) but because he is getting chances and he does have the skill.

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