DALLAS Michael Ryder, long known as a bit of a space-shot during his time in Boston with wild stories for his frequent tardiness to team buses and functions, gave a typical Ryder answer when asked if he had circled tonights game against the Bruins on the calendar before the season began.
No. No. No. I had it circled for New Years Eve, said a laughing Ryder.
Its pretty clear Ryder has brought his New Years Eve party hat to the rink with him for a midnight celebration win or lose.
Its the same old Ryder as his carefree days in Boston. Whether he was going through a scoreless drought or had just authored a hat track against the Canadiens Ryder was always essentially the same guy.
The winger with the sweet shot and release did admit it will be odd suiting up against the Bruins after three memorable years in Boston, but hes officially a member of the Stars when the puck is dropped at American Airlines Center, and will be on the enemy bench if the same kind of punch-throwing fireworks erupt as they have the last three years between the two hockey clubs.
Itll be a little different and odd playing against those guys, but its really just another hockey game where were trying to get a win, said Ryder. We did a lot of good things last year on the way to winning a championship and itll be strange playing those guys. But we want to go out and show we can play against one of the top teams in the league.
Ryder has 14 goals for the Stars skating with Jamie Benn and Loui Eriksson on Dallas top line, and was happy to be reunited with his buddy Mike Ribeiro from their days in Montreal.
The goal output would put him tied for second on the Bruins with Tyler Seguin, but Ryder wasnt interested in looking back after getting a healthy contract offer from Dallas during the summer.
Well, he was willing to look back at some of the moments from his summer: like denting the Stanley Cup when it collapsed on a table behind him during his day with the trophy in Newfoundland. Once again it was pretty typical Ryder-stuff.
I dont know. I didnt really see it. I just heard it when I turned around, said Ryder. I think somebody set the table up wrong. Oh well. At least theyre going to remember me for something, right?
Ryder will be remembered for his contributions to the Bruins particularly in the playoffs against the Canadiens long after his Newfoundland dent has been banged out of the chalice.