Ride On!

Not a bad start to the season for Michael "Knight" Ryder. Three goals in two games, including two game winners.

For a lark, take a look at his
profile on TSN. He's on pace for 123 goals and no assists! How does he do it?

Well, this is an excellent example of a player with plenty of deficiencies (his speed and passing to name two) but possesses a few skills that are far above average. Brett Hull has made a Hall-of-Fame career out of his one-timer, and Ryder has a magnificent release. Of course, that's not all there is to his game. If it were, he'd be Pierre Dagenais. Ryder has a work ethic. He has 8th-round-draft-pick hustle. That's what gave him his NHL opportunity at the ripe old age of 24, and that's what will keep him in Montreal. Another Michael, surname Ribeiro, would do well to learn a lesson or two from Ryder's play.

I read a couple of Ranger blog posts after last night's game, including the excellent
Hockeybird, for their view on the proceedings. I have only one quarrel with a point made in a couple of them (including the post linked) that Ryan Hollweg's charging penalty was undeserved. The case made is that he did not take the requisite three steps prior to checking Saku Koivu. According to the official rule #47, charging,

"A minor or major penalty shall be imposed on a player who skates or jumps into, or charges an opponent in any manner."

Hollweg's crime was that he jumped before the hit. There is no "three stride" requirement for a charge. Now, everyone has seen players leave the ice before a big hit - it's often unavoidable. However, I believe the ref (either McCreary or Craig Spada in this case) also took into account that Koivu was facing the boards, and was somewhat blindsided. Just sayin'.


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