Throughout this season, I've discussed Brian Boyle's under-rated contributions to the Rangers. From faceoffs, to his work on the penalty kill to locker room presence. And each time, a number of readers took that opportunity to completely rip Boyle for his inadequacies.
Well, I've decided to use Boyle's recent offensive explosion (yes, two goals is an explosion for him) to try and convert some of you Boylism. And I've brought along some friends to assist me.
My first witness is head coach Alain Vigneault (CBS New York)...
"Brian, what he does, when you talk about contributions through the lineup, you need that. Boyle has done a good job for us in helping us kill penalties and he’s found other ways to contribute.”
Next, I'd like to call Rick Nash to the stand (CBS New York)...
"(Boyle's) one of the good faceoff guys, good penalty killer. He’s a big man who can get in on the forecheck.”
Finally, I'd like to ask Anton Stralman to discuss Boyle's work on the penalty kill in overtime against Columbus Monday night (CBS New York)...
“On the 3-on-4 at the end, he was obviously big for us, blocking shots and doing the hard work.”
Still not convinced? How about this from Thomas Drance at theScore who ranked Boyle the fourth best penalty killing forward this season...
"Boyle is having a tremendous season on the defensive side of the puck in New York, and has been extraordinarily effective short-handed. Boyle leads all Rangers forwards in short-handed ice-time this season, and has started 111 times in the defensive end in 4-on-5 situations this (more than 50 times more often than the next closest Rangers forward)...Boyle's skyscraper frame, extended reach and quality instincts make him uniquely effective at breaking up cross-seam passes short-handed."
Tide starting to turn yet? Let's look at some of his off-ice positives courtesy of Sean Hartnett of CBS New York...
"He is an individual who young players gravitate toward in the locker room at MSG Training Center in Tarrytown. Chris Kreider and J.T. Miller, among others, often seek out his advice and lean on his experience.
Boyle holds court in his section of the locker room as he cracks jokes with Miller, Kreider and Mats Zuccarello. He’s respected, yet he also keeps things loose."
And finally, I'd like to call the defendant Brian Boyle to the stand (via Daily News)...
“You don’t want to be easily replaceable...You want to do everything you can to help your team win. Our penalty kill, the whole PK has done a good job all year. We don’t want to let teams set up. We don’t want them to get comfortable.”
...listen, I get it. Boyle is easily the softest big man in the NHL. He's slower than Pyatt and when he drops the gloves this usually happens...
...but I'm sorry, you can't overlook his ridiculous work on the 6th ranked penalty kill or his 56% on faceoffs. And for as soft as most of us make Boyle out to be he's third on the Rangers in hits with 87. Throw in the fact that he's one of the few Rangers players willing to stand up for a teammate (although not as often since Prust left) and Boyle is a very valuable piece of the puzzle. Not everyone on the team has to be Wayne Gretzky. A successful team needs players who are willing to do the little things and Boyle is one of the few players on the Rangers who does.
...Boyle's role has also been expanded recently as AV has been summoning the fourth line to shutdown opponent's top lines.
...i'm not sure if it's his 21 goal season in 2010-11 or his pre-concussion playoff performance against the Senators in 2011-12, but if Rangers fans have those kind of lofty expectations of Boyle, then yes you will be disappointed. Those performances were anomalies and not indicative of what Boyle's skill set is. If you take Boyle for what he really is, a fourth liner, who can win you a big faceoff and will work his ass off on the penalty kill then you'll never be disappointed by him again. Although getting Barb Underhill back in here to work with him on his skating again might not be the worst idea.
Boyle giraffe PhotoShop courtesy of reader AnnoyingJoe.
Too bad he couldn't hit the side of a barn with his shot... Skates like he's on bricks... And is a human punching bag for anyone who fights him...
Thanks for this, Kevin. Posts like these are what makes this blog such a great read and what keeps me coming back after every game.
YES THANK YOU! Love Boyle! He's the glue to this locker room. He's the new Prusty. Love the line "he's respected but keeps thing loose." These intangibles are needed on this growing team!
Kevin - you gotta lay off Brad Richards a bit. Yeahh he's not great, and he has no where near the skills at this point to justify his contact. However, he is a useful player and has a big role on this team. Kinda got to take his as he is.
Boyle skating at 21 second mark lol
He's been their best defensive player all season and best at winning faceoffs. WTF is everyone on his case? I just don't get it sometimes.
I have always liked Boyle and could never understand the whiners suffering from the Boyle Derangement Syndrome (BDS). He has always impressed me with his pleasant demeanor and ability to do little things on ice that BDS "hockey experts" seem to miss. Has he had poor games - no doubt. Which of the Rangers hasn't? I would be sad if he were to leave the Rangers.
I do value what he does well, faceoffs, PK...but at 1.7M + a possible raise this off-season, he needs to either be more physical or contribute double digit goals. One or the other, otherwise ship him out.
Everyone but Ranger fans can see the value of Brian Boyle. I'm not going to waste my time making arguments here. (My pet theory: many Ranger fans seem to see a big guy who can't fight and that threatens their own masculinity.) As Josh intimated below, getting rid of Boyle would be a huge mistake.
Thanks, Kevin, for bucking the abuse and starting to bring the evidence.
I respect the fact that Boyle drops the gloves knowing that he's gonna get his ass kicked. There's courage there. Especially since regular fighters pick him out so that they look good beating up a giant without any effort.
Helping keep pucks out of our net (especially on the PK), while certainly not as good as scoring, is pretty important. Boyle does this very well. There are others I'd trade/let walk before him.
I like Boyle, but what happened to the guy who had 21 goals in 2011? He had 5 total points last season & that's probably where most of the hate came from
Really like Boyle. But, as helpful as he is, I feel he played with an edge two years ago that he no longer has. Maybe it's because there's no one in the lineup to back him up? He used to be mean even if he didn't fight. He use to grit his teeth and grind. He still does some of that.... but not to the extent he once did and at the end of the day, I feel a truly elite team, will have a fourth line with a bite.
some of you guys want too much out of every player on our team. Boyle is a piece I hope they keep. Don't care he doesn't score, guys like him are needed and his locker room presence and attitude are all things needed on a team. He wants to be here, wants to contribute, and puts an effort every time hes out. can you imagine if every player had his work ethic and passion?
@TheNYRBlog the last 4 years yet contributing almost no scoring. Can't underestimate the value of good penalty killer.
@TheNYRBlog live how people bash Boyle for not lighting the lamp. Craig Adams has played more games than any other Pens forward...
His trade value is probably at its highest. .. bundle him with someone else and be done with it.....He is gonna want more money.... i can sign Konopka for 1 million and have the same player with toughness in the off season
DMOORE is just as good 1/2 His size and had a better skill set what it comes to scoring. .. he kills penalties and is as good on face offs at 1/2 the money
Boyle is an extremely soft player....the whole us women's hockey team has more toughness and balls then he does
@TheNYRBlog I'm really getting tired of your emotionally manipulative posts and constant contradictions. Worst blogger ever.
@TheNYRBlog than a 3rd line center. He is wasting a skill set most guys his size don't have. That's my issue with him. Not toughness
@TheNYRBlog when he was first drafted i saw Chris Simon pre goon era. I defended him his first 2 seasons here. He can and SHOULD be more
@TheNYRBlog I agree with all said. However, he needs some MMA lessons in the off-season.
I'm so happy about this article thank you !!!!!! Love Boyle. If you all believe that losing Prust changed our locker room I can't even think of it without Boyler. It's always the guys on the ice that do the little things and grit work that go unnoticed and thought of as not contributing . Boyler contributes!!!!
He is an important contributor at a cheap price. It would be nice if he could become faster and contribute more on the scoreboard, but his role in faceoffs and PK are just as important.
i have put out the torch that i had against boyle. he does a good job but i dont think he gets signed back when his contract is up unless he doesnt want a raise. if we didnt give prust the money he got then we wont give boyle a raise either.
boyle turned out to be a good pick up from the kings. i hope hes not greedy because he can stay on our forth line for life if he wants, but nothing more than forth line.
@TheNYRBlog Convert? I think I'm basically the Queen of Boylism.
@BettmansheadonaplatterThanks! That means a lot.
@Wallace1 I came here to say that. Better to fight and lose when the issue is forced like this situation, in my opinion. I always cringe when someone turtles immediately. Boyle did fall and cover his head but it looked more like he was just getting overpowered. He stood back up and tried again (probably also cause chara didn't let go of his pads).
Someone just teach this dude to scrap. Nothing wrong with grabbing jersey/arms and holding on for life when a bigger dude jumps you. Not everyone is mike tyson on skates. Trust me, I'm the same size as Ryan Borque.
Bingo! He scored 21, showed everyone what he COULD do, signed a contract to match (went from $525k to $1.7mil) and then went back to being a 4th line player.
Not to mention, that for all the good he does on the PK, he was -13 last season and -5 so far this year.
I have no problem with the guy being a Ranger, but either he starts being valuable 5-on-5 (I'll take points or a positive +/-), or he needs to go back to a six-figure salary.
He got sucker punched. By Carkner in Ottawa. And his balls never cleared us customs on his reentry back into the US
@GottalovetheblueDamn, I knew I forgot something.
If he played tough and threw some punches in fights. He'd be ok for what he does..... the guy is beyond soft.... can't have that at 6'7. AND NOT SCORING GOALS....He is a Lerch... I'm not giving him a raise from 1.7millon to lose fights....or be soft. ...
@Anotherside12 I'll make sure my recap tonight is as monotone and fact driven as possible. That is my promise to you.
@colseycole@TheNYRBlog That would be awesome. See Boyle fight Chara again and do a Guillotine. Take him down to the ice until he passes out.
@johnAMIRANTESrugI'm 100% with you. While he brings a lot to the table, at the end of the day, as you say, he's nothing more than a fourth liner and should be paid like one.
@johnnyb3910@BrendyJohnson Im not a big fan of Boyle, but he does face the top lines of other teams alot. That does hurt your +/-. I believe you can get someone cheaper and or around the same price to do a better job overall. Might not be as good at the pk or faceoffs, but im sure we could find someone that doesn't play like barbie on the ice.
@TheNYRBlog Haha. That should be good.