Ryan gets Americans -- and me -- on board

Thanks to Bobby Ryan, I can say that I led the tournament at one time.

Monday night at dinner, I joined a fantasy pool with nine Canadian writers. Probably not the brightest use of my money. Each of us picked seven players in the Olympic hockey tournament. Most points at the end takes the cash.

Ryan was my sixth or seventh pick, not quite sure, because it came on my sixth or seventh beer. But when he lit the lamp this afternoon to put the U.S. up 1-0, well, I jumped into first.

So when I finish dead stinking last, I can say that I led the tournament for a,while.

Among my other picks: Jaromir Jagr and Zach Parise.

Ryan’s goal came after a great shift in which he dug the puck out on all fours along the half boards, swung back into the slot and wristed a deflected puck over the right shoulder of Anaheim Ducks teammate Jonas Hiller.

Ryan was also on the ice for the second U.S. goal. The Americans won, 3-1.

By the way, Mike Richards, expected to see limited minutes for Canada’s opener tonight against Norway, was not among the 70 picks. Chris Pronger was.