In praise of Bobby Ryan

In praise of Bobby Ryan
"The biggest thing is just his poise and his hands are unbelievable. I played with [Evgeni] Malkin and [Sidney] Crosby, and those guys are probably the two best in the league. Bobby's hands are right with those guys... He's a superstar in the making, it seems."
---Ryan Whitney, former Ducks defenseman

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Young guns

When I was in high school, I had the hugest band-crush on Metallica. They were riding high on their new-found popularity with their self-titled "black album" and had geared up for a huge tour. I spent hours upon hours in my bedroom, the walls covered with James Hetfield posters, belting out the chords to "Master of Puppets" and "One" on my deep metallic blue Jackson Dinky XL, all the while allowing my imagination to run wild.

I'd dream of seeing them in concert and being right up in front, mere feet away from my guitar idols. Right in the middle of "Fade to Black," James' hand would go into a cramp and he'd have trouble playing the song. Eyes scanning the audience, he'd notice my concerned look. "Maybe you could help me out?" I'd read the words off his lips.

With a big grin on his face, he'd help me up onto the stage where I'd strap on his guitar and rock the rest of the song with the guys. The crowd would scream, the pyro would go off, and the guys would be so blown away that they'd invite me backstage afterwards and we'd spend hours jamming on more songs.

Yup, I had a huge imagination in high school, but I remember that particular day dream always putting stars into my eyes. How cool would it be to jam with the guys that inspired you to start playing in the first place? How amazing would it feel to share in their passion, and have them share in yours?

Probably a bit like what life is feeling like right now for the six young men the Ducks have recalled up from Iowa. I can only imagine what it feels like for Andrew Ebbett, Bobby Ryan, Drew Miller, and Matt Belesky to be shooting pucks side by side with Ryan Getzlaf. Or for Brett Festerling and Brendan Mikkelson to be skating that blue line with Chris Pronger or Scott Niedermayer.

Sure, the Ducks had to take a few hits as a team to allow these rookies their chance to show the NHL what they're capable of, but so far, you have to admit there's some potential here! Right now is, undeniably, Bobby Ryan's time to shine. He's the first Ducks rookie to score a hat trick, and the first rookie in the entire NHL to do it under 2.5 minutes since 1938. He also leads with the most points in goals and assists for a rookie since his debut.

And how is it that he's not in the NHL YoungStars game?? Shenanigans! (Actually, probably more like red-tape politics)

In any sense, what an opportunity for these guys. I'm hoping we'll get a glimpse of the future of hockey, what with such talented rookies on the Ducks active lineup.

I'm living vicariously through you, boys. Get ready for that guitar solo...


Leo said...

Fantastic! Unique insight on what's going on in the team. More, please!

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