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Fresh Face Draws Lots of Cameras

Monday, 02.19.2007 / 12:00 AM / News
By Brian Wheeler  - Sabres.com
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Fresh Face Draws Lots of Cameras
Rookie Mike Ryan saw the horde of media amassed around his locker in the Buffalo Sabres dressing room and he had to laugh.

"What is this Sidney Crosby on TSN?" joked Ryan of all the attention.

No, Pittsburgh wasn't in town, but Ryan was, and that makes him the popular kid in class for at least a day. Ryan joined Drew Stafford and Clarke MacArthur as the third reinforcement for a lineup that has seen five of its starters knocked out of the lineup due to injury.

The six-foot-one, 191-pound center was recalled from the Rochester Americans on Sunday night to fill in the void left by Ales Kotalik's knee injury. The recall is Ryan's second this season and could be for an extended period of time as Kotalik will be out for an estimated four- to six-week span.

"This is a little more comfortable and not so much of a rush," said Ryan, who appeared in three games for Buffalo this season in his first stint with the team. "I was able to get here a couple days in advance and get some practice days in, which is always helpful.

"The first call-up, it's like you're trying to get your feet wet. That's not how I feel anymore. I want to come here, make plays and score goals."

Ryan earned the trip down the I-90 by doing just that, combusting for a pair of hat tricks and eight points in his last three games for the Amerks.

It's a run that both he, and the coaching staff, hopes can continue at the next level.

"Things have been going well for the last month or so," said Ryan, who skated on a line with MacArthur and enforcer Andrew Peters during practice. "The last two weeks have been good in terms of goal scoring.

"The pressure is still there. We're one of the top teams in the league and conference so [the call-ups] really need to fill some shoes here. We might not be able to do it in certain ways like Al [Kotalik] or Max [Afinogenov] can, but we'll find ways to help this team win."

"He's got great speed and he's hot right now, so we were looking at maybe moving him up in the lineup," said head coach Lindy Ruff. " You've got to take a look at how the lines are operating when we start tomorrow night. A guy like Mike has a lot of confidence in scoring goals right now. It's a good thing for us."

Averaging a point a game for Rochester, Ryan has already set AHL career highs in goals (20) and points (41) this season. When looked at from a macro perspective, the left-winger from Boston, Mass. posses all the traditional attributes of a model Sabres forward.

His biggest weapons are his speed and soft, quick hands.

"You have to play to your strengths and that's obviously one of mine," Ryan said regarding his quickness. "If I can put pressure on their defense, be fast on the puck and use my speed to get to the puck, things will happen."

"A guy like Mike Ryan, I don't consider young," said Ruff. "He has tremendous speed and can play with a little edge with him, too. "

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82