The Ducks will be without Bobby Ryan for games three and four in Nashville as the league suspended Ryan for what was deemed a “reckless and dangerous” stomp on Jonathan Blum in game two.
Ryan and Blum were behind the net fighting for the puck along the wall. Ryan was attempting to use his foot to get the puck out and got overzealous, stomping on Blum’s skate in the process.
“I tried four or five times to kick the puck loose,” said Ryan, describing the incident. “The last time I raised my foot a little higher and came down right on top of him. The intent was good. The result was bad.”
Blum was not injured in the play, but gave Ryan a shove after the incident in response.
“It’s something definitely you don’t do,” commented Blum. “Skates are pretty sharp. Coming down with that much force on any part of someone’s body could do damage. It could cause an injury. You’re taught at a young age not to do that.”
Ryan has historically been a clean player and there certainly appeared to be no intent in his actions. However, the results were the same nonetheless.
Coach Randy Carlyle was not expecting the two game suspension.
“That’s not Bobby Ryan’s style,” Carlyle observed. “This is a first-time offense if anything and that’s … really I’m surprised. I didn’t even see it until after the game. I was surprised to see what happened during the game. There’s no place in the game for that.”
Ryan took exception with league disciplinarian, Colin Campbell, calling the play “reckless and dangerous,” but still took the consequences with grace.
“I’ve never had any kind of intent or reckless behavior on the ice. I think that’s a very loose vocabulary to use. I don’t agree with it, but I’ll be a good teammate and move forward.”
The Ducks are not strangers to stomping suspensions. Chris Pronger sat out eight games in 2007 after stomping Ryan Kesler’s calf. It was a far more dangerous play and Pronger, who seems to like straddling a fine line between acceptable and unacceptable, was definitely not a first offender and more likely to commit this sort of offense.
Anaheim will need to go forward without Ryan on the top line and see what they can do about taking a lead in the series that is tied at one game each. Sunday afternoon will be their first test.