The Ottawa Senators were relieved to see Bobby Ryan on the ice at practice Saturday afternoon.
Ryan left Friday’s 4-2 win over the Boston Bruins after taking an elbow to the face from Dennis Seidenberg late in the third period and missed the final three minutes of the game.
The two were going for a puck in the corner and collided shortly after Ryan had given the Senators a 4-2 lead. Ryan said he was hit “right on the button,” and admitted it was a “weird feeling.”
“I spent quite a bit of time in the other room kind of loosening things up and getting moving,” said Ryan. “But I felt a lot better today than last night that’s for sure.”
Ryan wasn’t sure if he was going to be able to practise in preparation for Sunday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets when he arrived at the arena on Saturday morning. Still, he was able to get on the ice with his teammates and participate in a full day of work.
As of now Ryan is questionable for Sunday and will undergo further evaluation to ensure there is no further risk of injury.
“That’s the plan,” said Ryan. “I think we’re probably going to consult everybody. I felt pretty good, just a lot of stiffness in my upper back and shoulders and neck but for the most part no issues as far as my head is concerned.”
Senators head coach Paul MacLean was relieved to see his leading scorer on the ice, but said the team would take a cautious approach with Ryan’s health.
“I’m going to wait until tomorrow,” said MacLean. “He practised today which is a real good thing. We’ll see how he gets through today and when we get here tomorrow.”
Ottawa has enough players on hand that if Ryan is unavailable to play no one would need to be recalled from the American Hockey League’s Binghamton Senators.
Ryan, who has ten goals and 20 points, admitted he had watched the replay a number of times and understands why it would be under review by the league.
“I felt it that’s for sure,” said Ryan. “He definitely connected. It is what it is. I don’t know if it was clean or not, that’s not for me to decide. It’s just one of those plays that probably got away from him and he’s not a malicious player by any means so no ill will towards him from my end.”
Seidenberg said after the game Friday he definitely had no intent to injure.
“The puck is loose, I’m going for the puck and I’m turning into the puck and I think he’s reaching,” said Seidenberg. “I would never go after a guy’s head and I hope he’s fine so that’s all I can say.”
There have been a number of suspensions this season for various incidents and Ryan admitted he really didn’t know what would happen.
“I don’t think it was nearly as reckless as some of the ones that have been reviewed in the past,” said Ryan. “He just got an elbow up. It wasn’t high speed, which was good. He connected, but I don’t know how I feel about it.
“It was just a hockey play gone bad.”
Notes: Craig Anderson will get the start against Columbus. Erik Condra is ready to return, but Paul MacLean has not decided whether or not he would play Sunday.