Bobby Ryan Makes a Rather Lousy Puck Daddy Rebuttal

Bobby Ryan is under fire, this time by Puck Daddy’s Greg Wyshynski who excoriated the forward for his lack of offensive production in the month that followed Ryan’s Olympic snub by USA Hockey.

It doesn’t get much more disappointing for an athlete than being called out by one of hockey’s most prominent bloggers for failing to use an Olympic snub as the principle motivating factor for scoring more goals.

Ryan had a chance to make the naysayers look ill-informed. He could have made a statement on the ice that said, “Hey guys, even though my 2.75 shots per game rate in the month of January was the second highest rate amongst my monthly splits this season, and even though I was on the ice for 11 5v5 goals for (tying a season high by the month) and my shooting percentage in January (6.1%) was the lowest total of the season, I just couldn’t pick up the points. Things should normalize soon though!”

Instead he had one of his worst performances of the season. Zero goals. Zero points. No shots on goal. Hell, last night was only one of three instances this season in which Ryan had this zeroes accompanying his name in the boxscore.

He had a chance to show the world that he could bounceback from a disappointing stretch of production. Now this one game performance is just might be the rock bottom in one larger trend – posting metrics below season averages and career norms!

Now Wyshynski’s pointed words are seemingly dragging Ryan into an abyss where things like Eugene Melnyk’s failed forensic report will go, never to see the light of day again.

“Putrid month of offensive hockey… whimpered when he should have roared…”

What Ryan hasn’t done since being snubbed by Wyshynski has only been underscored by what Matthew Nieto of the San Jose Sharks, an American who wasn’t picked by Wyshynski in Puck Daddy’s U.S. Olympic hockey team selections, has done since yesterday’s article on Ryan ran. Nieto’s two goals are tied with Patrick Kane for the NHL lead. The NHL lead!

Bobby Ryan is slumping like he’s never slumped before, you know, if you exclude all those other instances of slumps that the Ottawa Citizen mentioned.

But you know what can bust a slump? Normalization to career averages. Talent. Luck. Adjustments. Chance. A nice rotund woman. Effective linemates. Things that Ryan already has or should benefit from soon.

Until he does, he’s just proving Greg Wyshynski right.

Seriously though…

Bobby Ryan’s production has taken a hit since January 1st, but looking at his underlying numbers, there isn’t a discernible difference to suggest that he has been adversely affected since being snubbed by the U.S. Olympic team selection committee.

 

Goals

Pts

Shots/GP

5v5 GF

5v5 GA

CF%

SH%

October

6

10

2.83

9

6

54.91

17.6

November

7

15

2.64

11

7

48.40

18.9

December

5

11

2.38

10

7

50.36

13.2

January

2

6

2.75

11

4

50.30

6.1

February

0

0

1.00

0

2

44.00

0.0

Looking strictly at his goals and assists, his production is down, but incidentally, he tied a season high for being on the ice for 11 five-on-five goals in January. There is something to be said about the play and performance of his linemates – Clarke MacArthur and Kyle Turris – but Ryan was on the ice for a normal allotment of goals.

Perhaps more importantly, of things that he can control, his shot rate in January was his second highest monthly rate thus far this season. Conversely, his Corsi Events For % (CF%), which is a proxy that measures puck possession by looking at how many shots, blocked shots and missed shots a player was on the ice for relative to the opposition, shows that Ryan was also in line with season averages.

Now, what we may have seen in the month of January is a player whose shooting percentages through the first two months of the season had normalized. In his career, Ryan’s been a 14.1-percent shooter, so seeing a slight drop off from his October and November rates was to be expected.

Relative to the volume of games that the Senators played in November and December, it is worth mentioning that the Senators only played in 12 games in January.

As Wayne Scanlan pointed out on Twitter last night, Ryan has not scored a power play goal since December 23rd. But, as a product of the Senators lower number of games played in January and to the team’s inability to draw penalties, Bobby ranks 192 amongst all NHL skaters in cumulative PP TOI since January 1st with 30:28. (Note: Erik Karlsson led the Senators in PP TOI during this same stretch with 41:22 – the NHL’s 123rd highest total.)

From the human element perspective, Ryan's omission has bothered him. I mean, how could it it not? But by the same token, there's enough evidence to suggest that it hasn't negatively affected the way that he has performed on the ice. He is still playing like Bobby Ryan, just with fewer goals and points.

 

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