I wouldn't want to be Ryan O'Byrne at the moment—or probably for his full career as a Montreal Canadien.
Late in the third period at the Bell Centre in Montreal, with the Canadiens holding a 3-2 lead, a penalty was about to be called on the Islanders. As soon as the referee’s arm was up, Carey Price went to the bench for the extra man.
The puck came down the boards in the Montreal zone, O'Bryne gathered the puck and was pressured by Sean Bergenheim. O'Bryne didn't look up at his own wide-open net, but then put the puck in.
I'm not sure if he knew there was a delayed penalty and wanted to pass to Price, or if he just attempted to put the puck off the boards behind the net for a pass around to his teammate. Either way, his fate was sealed, and he held the goat's horns on that one.
Being a Leaf fan, this brought back memories of a big mistake Larry Murphy made years ago, which he was booed for the rest of the season. He ended up winning the Cup with the Wings after a trade during the deadline.
In recent memory, Bryan McCabe put the puck in his own net in an overtime game just last year. Even though he came back to play a much better defensive game the rest of the year, he just wasn't the same after that. He was still looked at as McGiveaway, and was traded as soon as a fairly-even trade was available.
After O'Bryne put the puck in his own net, the Canadiens still had a powerplay, but they did not look like themselves. Too many passes, lost pucks, and they never got a good chance. The Islanders looked revitalized, put more pressure on, and with their aggression committed another penalty.
The Canadiens pushed a bit harder, as you could see young Ryan O'Bryne on the bench with his shoulders shrugged. He was out of it, and his teammates were barely more energetic than himself.
The Canadiens had only one scoring chance and let it pass by, and then the third period was over. The game went to overtime, and the best opportunity came for the Islanders' Chris Campoli, but he deflected the one-timer right into the chest of Price for the save.
The shootout came, and the Canadiens still looked sluggish even on their breakaway attempts. The best player on the ice tonight had the second shootout attempt. Richard Park deked and shot the puck in the top corner past Price, for the lone goal in the shootout. The New York Islanders won, 4-3.
I feel for O'Bryne, and Guy Carbonneau could not put out O'Bryne for the last few minutes of the third period or the overtime period. O'Bryne was down and out, and the fans would have eaten him alive. Even as the game ended, a deflated boo of O'BRYYYYYYNNNNEEEE, O'BRYYYYYYNNNNEEE, came from the rafters of the Bell Centre. An unhomely place for O'Bryne for the next game—or even for the rest of his career.
We'll see how the next while goes, but if history plays any part, O'Bryne won't have any fun playing for the Rouge-Blanc and Bleu—and won't be for playing for them much longer.