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#3 - Ryan O'byrne 2008-09


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I'm really looking for O'Byrne to make an impact on this year's blueline. He showed promise last year and his experience can only help him. Whether he's paired with Hamrlik or on the third pair with Francis, I think he'll make an impact. Ideally, it would be great to acquire a top 4 D to play with Hamrlik and then have a solid 5-7 of Ryan, Francis, and Josh. I don't see that happening, so I expect Ryan to get a lot of playing time. As long as he performs well, of course!

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Maybe just maybe he is our top 4 defenseman- one can hope

Not yet. Sure, he'll play with Hamrlik on the second pairing, but they'll try to shield him from pressure situations unless he suddenly shows a big jump in performance early in the season. We need to be patient. Komisarek didn't become the player he is now in one year, or even two years.

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Not yet. Sure, he'll play with Hamrlik on the second pairing, but they'll try to shield him from pressure situations unless he suddenly shows a big jump in performance early in the season. We need to be patient. Komisarek didn't become the player he is now in one year, or even two years.

I agree. I think he will get ample 5-on-5 time with Hamrlik, but Gorges will probably be given PK time as opposed to O'Byrne. O'Byrne will need another season or two before he becomes a reliable force for us, I think. A success this season would be to play approximately 60 games and finish in the + column.

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  • 2 weeks later...

According to TSN's Molson That's Hockey, Ryan O'Byrne was hit in the eye today at practise with a puck. He was rushed to a nearby hospital and required stitches. He did not return to practise.

Hopefully this is not as serious as it sounds, and he returns by the Canadiens' season opener against the Buffalo Sabres.

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Played a strong game. I see this guy as miniKOMI (if that is possible) He doesn't back down from anyone and I think because of that he will see lots of action this season against the "bigger" teams.

Right now, he's nowhere close to being the player Komisarek is. He's big and strong, but that's about it. His positional play is questionable, he gets outskated by anyone in the corners, he can't clear the zone properly (he ices the puck about 75% of the time), and he only intermittently uses his size and strength to punish enemy forwards. Don't get me wrong, I think O'Byrne has great potential, and in 2-3 seasons he might well be that Mini-Komi you're talking about, but at this point in time, he's more 'potential' than 'actual'.

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Right now, he's nowhere close to being the player Komisarek is. He's big and strong, but that's about it. His positional play is questionable, he gets outskated by anyone in the corners, he can't clear the zone properly (he ices the puck about 75% of the time), and he only intermittently uses his size and strength to punish enemy forwards. Don't get me wrong, I think O'Byrne has great potential, and in 2-3 seasons he might well be that Mini-Komi you're talking about, but at this point in time, he's more 'potential' than 'actual'.

I agree. However, Komisarek also had to undergo baptism by fire when he came into the NHL and it was quite normal for Komisarek to get burned every now and then. O'Byrne, I think, will have a good season. Good enough that in 2009-2010 he can take on a more significant role with the club, which is all I am hoping for. It's his first full season this year, so I think it would be unfair of the fans/media to expect a lot from him. This season will be a year to learn the game some more! :D

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Underrated. Unexpensive. Young. Physical.

What else is there to add?

He gives us what is expected from him or more. He learns from his mistakes. He already is better than Brisebois, Dandenault, etc...

My only knock against OB is that sometimes he takes bad penalties because he uses his stick rather than skating.

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Right now, he's nowhere close to being the player Komisarek is. He's big and strong, but that's about it. His positional play is questionable, he gets outskated by anyone in the corners, he can't clear the zone properly (he ices the puck about 75% of the time), and he only intermittently uses his size and strength to punish enemy forwards. Don't get me wrong, I think O'Byrne has great potential, and in 2-3 seasons he might well be that Mini-Komi you're talking about, but at this point in time, he's more 'potential' than 'actual'.

I would have to agree. He hasn't impressed me much w/ his 'physical' play. Never seems to know what to do w/ the puck in the defensive zone and rarely wins a battle in the corners. Not bad to get beat every once in a while, but he might as well be a rented mule.

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big OB was outstanding, made smart passes leveled guys and protected the puck well

played 20mins, big showing

I hope that only a hint of what's to come this season. Being only his second season, and being a defenseman to boot, I expect he'll hit a few stumbling blocks, but if he shows determination and a willingness to learn from whatever mistakes he will make, I'll be happy.

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He wasn't perfect and he wasn't great, but he did play a smart disciplined game for the most part.

He also single handedly stopped a 3 on 1. That was an amazing play. High risk to take himself out of the play completely if he failed, but it worked. If he stays out of the box, this could be a good year for him. He really needs to keep his arms close to his body when he is working along the boards, that is probably his biggest and most frequent mistake.

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I would be hard pressed how to judge O'byrne overall however tonight I would definitely cite him average at best. There were far too many moments were he was absolutely brutal; granted he was not the only one.

Agreed. He's developing better defensive-zone awareness, but he was caught out of position too much, pinched at the wrong times, took a penalty, and still can't clear the zone effectively -- either he ices it or his pass is too hard/inaccurate for the forward to handle, putting the puck right back into the other team's hands. And he isn't nearly physical enough for his frame. That being said, I won't judge him based on a game in which most of the team was sleepwalking until the final 20 minutes.

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