The Ottawa Senators head back home for game five with a 3-1 stranglehold over the Boston Bruins.
With so many storylines surrounding this series it’s difficult to take a look at just one. Ottawa came into the series as the slight underdog but have dominated the series as a whole, the refs have stirred up controversy, and Erik Karlsson has earned new levels respect around the league. However, my personal favourite storyline has been the emergence of Bobby Ryan.
The Bobby Ryan Era
Bobby Ryan was traded to the Ottawa Senators on July 5th 2013, the same day as Daniel Alfredsson signed with Detroit. Due to these two things happening on the same day, the post Alfie era could also be considered the Bobby Ryan era. This has perhaps been the most up and down era the team has seen in its existence. They start off by missing the playoffs in 2014. What followed was arguably the most exciting year in Senators history, the Hamburgler year. The Sens then missed the playoffs in 2016, and have followed up a disappointing season with a fairly consistent season and made the playoffs.
As for Bobby, he’s had a somewhat disappointing tenure with Ottawa. It hasn’t been catastrophic but he hasn’t lived up to expectations. He left Anaheim as a four time 30 goal scorer. Since coming to Ottawa, Ryan has generally hovered around the 50-55 point range and peaked at 23 goals. Decent, but he hasn’t live up to his seven million dollar contract. At the same time, to blame Ryan entirely for his low numbers is unfair. He’s been riddled with hand injuries since he’s become an Ottawa Senator.
Fast forward to this year and Ryan is having the worst season of his career. He finished with just 25 points in 62 games. He was once again plagued with hand injuries. However, this year he also dealt with the death of his mother. Now this would be enough to cause a dip in performance from the grief alone for any person or player, but the connection between Bobby and his mother was even stronger than the typical mother, son relationship. I can’t do the story justice, but I encourage you to read up on Bobby’s childhood. With all this manifesting in one season it’s forgivable for him to have a less than stellar season.
Now that the playoffs have arrived, we’ve seen a rejuvenated Bobby Ryan. He scored the overtime game winner in game three and potted to only goal in game four. Even without the goals he’s been the Sens’ best player who isn’t named Erik Karlsson. He looks energized, motivated, and better than ever. This is the Bobby Ryan we traded for back in 2013. He’s arrived, and he looks like he’s here to stay. Game five is tonight. Look for Bobby Ryan to catapult the Sens into the second round with a hat trick of game winning goals.