Bobby Ryan missed two games with a bone bruise on his bottom hand, and after returning from the injury early, Ryan finds himself out indefinitely after re-injuring the hand in Tuesday’s game.
Bobby Ryan’s season has gone incredibly poorly to this point with the Senators winger on pace for a point total well below his career worst, and it’s not about to get better any time soon as he’s been sidelined with a hand injury.
Ryan, 29, was forced to leave Tuesday’s game against the Buffalo Sabres due to a hand injury that dates back to a mid-November game against the Nashville Predators. Ryan skated just a handful of shifts before leaving the game, skating a total of 2:50, and following the contest coach Guy Boucher said the only certainty right now is that Ryan wouldn’t be able to suit up Thursday when the Senators host the Philadelphia Flyers.
"He’d been battling (his hand) the last games to stay in the lineup but it got to the point where he couldn’t take it anymore,” Boucher said of Ryan’s hand injury post-game.
This will be the second time in the past two weeks that Ryan has been forced onto the sideline with the hand injury. He already missed two games earlier in November due to what was reported to be a “deep bone bruise” by the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch. The injury, Ryan said at the time, was impacting his ability to pass, shoot and handle the puck because it was on his bottom hand.
“The bottom hand is a little more important,” Ryan said, according to Garrioch. “You can get away with (damage on) the top hand a little bit. But the bottom hand, you can’t do anything about.”
It’s disappointing for Ryan to hit the shelf once again with the same injury, and it’s harder yet with him finally finding somewhat of a scoring touch with two assists in the three games prior to being sidelined with the hand injury. That said, taking the time away from the lineup and fully recovering from the injury could be the best thing for Ryan right now.
His three goals and eight points are abysmal totals, especially given he’s the highest paid player on the team yet performing in league with the likes of Zack Smith, Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Tom Pyatt. If Ryan continued on this pace for the entire season, he’d finish with just eight goals and 30 points, which would be far and away his lowest full-season goal total and nearly 20 points back of his lowest full-season point total.
If Ryan can come back completely healthy, there’s definitely the possibility for him to heat up, though. During his three seasons in Ottawa, Ryan has been a consistent 20-goal threat — unfortunately a far cry from the perennial 30-goal man he was as an Anaheim Duck — and has notched 50-plus points in each of his past two seasons. When exactly Ryan is healthy enough to return, however, isn’t known quite yet, so the Senators will be forced to play the waiting game with the top-six winger.
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