The merry-go-round of Michigan injuries continued to spin yesterday. Just as senior David Moss jumped back onto the ice, fellow senior forward Jason Ryznar underwent surgery for a broken finger that will keep him out for at least a month.
Ryznar had his right index finger operated on early yesterday morning, a procedure Michigan hockey coach Red Berenson said was successful. The finger was broken during Saturday’s 3-1 victory over Northern Michigan, when Ryznar blocked a shot during the Wildcats’ 5-on-3 power play.
“He went down just like he’s supposed to,” Berenson said. “But his hand was tight on his stick. If it weren’t — if it had been the other hand — then it just would have bruised it.”
The injury couldn’t have come at a worse time for Ryznar — who had been playing the best hockey of his collegiate career. Two weeks ago in Columbus, Ryznar surpassed his career high in points for a season and tied his career best in a points in game where he tallied a goal and two assists in the second game of the weekend.
Ryznar was hoping to continue his stellar play against Michigan State, a team he has always had good fortune against. In his Wolverine debut, he contributed on all three Michigan goals in the Cold War game against the Spartans. This season, Ryznar has an assist in both CCHA games against Michigan State.
“I talked to him late last night before (Ryznar) went to bed,” Moss said. “I told him to get better quick because he’s playing that well.
“He was a little down, but that’s expected I guess.”
Berenson said Ryznar being down is all part of the different steps of being injured.
“You’re disappointed, then mad, then you end up saying, ‘OK.’ We’ve all been injured,” he said.
With Ryznar joining sophomores David Rohlfs and Mike Brown as injured scratches, the Michigan penalty kill will continue to have to adapt. Berenson said he wasn’t worried about having fewer than eight penalty killers on his bench, calling the usually full arsenal “a luxury.” Aside from the regular penalty killers, Michigan hopes to get some fresh blood out on the penalty kill — players who wouldn’t ordinarily get the chance.
“I’m hoping guys like Charlie Henderson — who kills penalties every day in practice — and possibly Reilly Olson can also contribute (on the penalty kill),” Berenson said.
Thankfully for Michigan — which is already forced to play a defenseman at forward because of injuries — Moss began skating after being out last weekend with a groin injury. He may not be 100 percent yet, but he says he’s healthy enough to play. Berenson echoed those sentiments yesterday, following Moss’s first skate with the team in nearly a week.
“(Moss) looks okay,” Berenson said. “He’s rusty (because) he’s been out for over a week. I think by Friday he should be ready.”
The decision hasn’t been finalized as to whether he will play at center or on the wing, but, with senior Michael Woodford able to play both positions as well, how Moss’s groin feels throughout the week and weekend will decide where he plays against the Spartans.
Unlike when Michigan State beat the Wolverines in the Great Lakes Invitational — a game in which the Wolverines were without four players who were playing in the World Junior Championship — Michigan’s defense is completely healthy.
“Ironically,” Berenson said, “all the players who are out (with injuries) are penalty killers.”