Pat Leonard at the Daily News reports on how John Tortorella's decision to move Brian Boyle to the wing against Tampa on Saturday night benefited him and the team.
Here's Boyle on the move...
"It's just a little bit more concentrated on one spot," Boyle said of the wing, where he's played "certain shifts here and there, maybe a game or two" in the past, "but hardly at all." "I'm not saying it's easier. It's tough when a defenseman is breathing down your neck and you're trying to get the puck out (of your own zone). It's pretty much that's your job and you've got to focus on that, and when you get it out of that zone, you go to the next zone, and you go in.
"It's a lot of puck possession and holding onto pucks, all around the ice. As a centerman, you're in the middle, you've got to get rid of it, distribute it. I'm just trying to simplify it, and (Tortorella) is helping me out by putting me on the wing. I can just go straight up and down."
Tortorella feels the move to wing puts Boyle in areas to be more aggressive on the puck.
Leonard also notes that Boyle scoffs at the notion that the head injury he sustained from a Chris Neil hit in last year's playoffs could be affecting his lack of offensive firepower now.
...i was really impressed with Boyle's game Saturday night. If he's not being aggressive and physical Boyle is basically useless out there. When he's effective, he's strong on the forecheck and goes to the net hard.
...one thing that drives me mad about Boyle is his unwillingness to park himself in front of the net. With his large frame he has the ability to cause havoc in front of the net with screens and tips. A perfect example was on Del Zotto's goal against Toronto last week.
...hopefully the move to wing and his play Saturday night will give him confidence going forward. I also wonder how he'll react to the recall of Mashinter, a big physical forward. I hope he steps up to the challenge.
I agree with whomever said that Boyler is the softest "big" man on the ice. He totally is! He needs to take a cue from Nasher or Pyatt on how to use his size to his advantage. And Kevin, to your point about parking himself in front of the net...be like Capt Cally...isn't that what he *finally* did toward the end of the reg. season/beginning of playoffs last year, when he was on a scoring streak? I do not think he is still plagued by concussion symptoms at all...this is how he started the season last year. He needs to use his legs more, skate with power, use his reach more to aggressively forecheck. His biggest problem? He is a BIG guy who doesn't ACT like one!
Didn't they do the same thing to Dubi? Maybe they're preparing to trade Boyle, Haley, and Pashnin to Anaheim for Corey Perry!
Let's be honest about the Boyler. His 10'-11' season was not his norm. I think last season (11G 15A) is probably closer to what he will be, maybe even a bit lower. He's a 3rd line center that can be relied on defensively and for face-offs and give you a few goals now and then. Expecting anything more is just welcoming disappointment. I don't think the concussion has anything to do with his lack of physical play, I just think he's soft for a big guy. He should take a look at how Jagr played. He throw many hits, but he was impossible to separate from the puck, unless he shot it. Boyle is more Jaeger than Jagr, but he might be able to pick up a few nuances that he could use.
Right on here. Torts needs to simplify things for Boyle to get him jump started. Plus there's less responsibility on the wing.
I hate seeing the part in 'Beginnings' where his dad talks about how Boyle always had to be more gentle with the other kids because he was so much bigger he would knock them around when he used his full strength. I think he still feels like he is that kid sometimes. He needs to realize that these other guys can handle it and he needs to give them 110% of his power if he wants to be the player he can be.
Zero goals in his last 22 games.
He should learn from watching Pyatt. Both are the same size and skate like Bambi on a frozen pond. But Pyatt gets the job done.
@IanO'Brien if i was boyle's size in the nhl, i would be in prison.
@Beckfan5 Pyatt uses his body better than Boyle which is the biggest difference
@Beckfan5 That's actually a great point. Only because Leonard brought it up in his story, but does any think Boyle is still affected by concussion?