Why is Bobby Ryan playing, exactly?

The Ottawa Senators are off to a fantastic start this season, riding exceptional goaltending and timely scoring to a 16-9-2 record, good enough for second place in the Atlantic Division. Even more impressive, they’ve done it despite the deep, deep struggles of former top sniper Bobby Ryan.

Despite being on the All-Star Game ballot for some reason, Ryan has just three goals and five assists this season and has been particularly ineffective of late.

That led to this tweet this Thursday morning from lovably antagonistic Senators fan Adnan:

To which Ryan replied:

Funny, though it raises the question: why is Bobby Ryan playing, exactly, or, if he’s fully healed up now, why was he playing for so long? It would seem that, when a player’s job description is “score goals,” suggesting a blogger’s hand might be an upgrade probably isn’t ideal.

A lot of insiders have defended Ryan this season, arguing that regular fans have no idea the injuries and pain he’s been playing through. That’s all well and good, but maybe it’s time to ask the question of whether or not he should have been trying at all.

The Senators are weak up front and they desperately need Ryan in top condition. Perhaps it’s time to get him there, short-term lineup considerations and The Code be damned.

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