If you're wondering why some people in this city are going to be making "the right stuff"/"the white stuff" puns for the next couple days, I'll tell you right now that the answer has nothing to do with New Kids on the Block. (Sorry to disappoint.)
Ryan White was probably the biggest reason why Monday's game against the Florida Panthers was so incredibly awesome. There are many other reasons, and for that, I'd like to thank the entire team (today is my sister's birthday and no one wants to see the Habs lose on their birthday).
Knowing that they survived an 18-player cut bolstered the young Canadiens who appear to be on the bubble, trying out for spots on the roster that may not even exist. At the very least, they're making an impression in the preseason, hoping to draw attention for a chance at a callup. Some people may say that Ryan White is working his ass off to make the team. I'm sure that tonight was just an indication of the way he is.
I've been a fan of his since I went to a Hamilton Bulldogs home game in March 2009. I had no idea who he was. The Bulldogs played a fantastic game but he really stood out. It seemed like every rush, every nice play, every fight, every everything involved White. He was all over the place. I couldn't believe I'd never heard of this guy. Now, anyone who previously may not have known about him certainly does.
There may still be room for improvement, and if that's the case, I have a feeling that Ryan White could be the player that we always hope Maxim Lapierre is going to be (but that he isn't on some nights). He combines skill, speed, and scrappiness. He gives the team everything he's got. And if it's not game time, he dials down the intensity. Brian Wilde interviewed White today while making his rounds in the locker room. White seemed patient and friendly, and I can only hope he'd stay that way after a few crazy seasons in Montreal.
I'm definitely not worried about his work ethic. Ryan White may be itching to make the team, but he's capable of being the kind of player he was tonight any time during the season. I, for one, am looking forward to it.