Ryder suffered a second period injury that caused him to leave the Ottawa game for an extended period Wednesday night. He returned ot the ice in the third period and was able to practice with his linemates Friday morning. Following practice, the Canadiens medical staff decided it would be better if Ryder were kept out of the game against the Devils. At this point, the injury is designated “lower body”.
It is possible that Ryder suffered the injury at 5:10 of the second periodwhen he took a neutral zone hit from the Senators Eric Gryba. He immediately left the Canadiens bench and didn’t return to the ice until the 2:05 mark of the third period. Whatever the problem is, he tried to play through in eight third period shifts and then, after a day off, the Friday morning practice.
Right Wing Michael Blunden has been re-called from the Hamilton Bulldogs to replace him. With both Brendan Gallagher and Gabriel Dumont now on the Canadiens roster, Blunden was the Bulldogs top remaining scorer. UPDATE – Blunden’s flight from St. John’s where the Bulldogs were playing was cancelled because of fog. He will not arrive in Newark until some time Saturday.
Considering coach Michel Therrien’s reluctance to break up currently successful lines, one could be forgiven for thinking that Blunden will be asked to replace Ryder on the Plekanec line with Gionta. The other option is to move Travis Moen up. Moen replaced Ryder while he was missing from the Ottawa game. That would put Blunden with Ryan White and Armstrong. To be announced.