Brian Boyle Needs To Be Better

November 26, 2011, by

Jeff Woywitka had the same amount of points as Brian Boyle prior to last night’s game. While Boyle isn’t (or at least should not be) judged purely on offensive statistics that first comment is quite a damning statement given Woywitka is a throw-in and plays minimal minutes on the bottom defensive pair. Simply put Brian Boyle, even with his goal yesterday, hasn’t been good enough consistently (the key word) this season.

We’ve not seen the same improved skating from last year, there’s been an absence of Boyle driving hard to the net using his size to his advantage and generally Boyle has failed to impose himself on games. Boyle has been OK defensively, but isn’t taking the body as well as he did last year. He needs to do more. The thing is, despite all the big name players in the Rangers top six, the presence of Boyle in his 2010-11 form would go a long way to making this team much better.

Boyle is a huge part of this team. Why? With Boyle playing like he did at times last year this team is suddenly very deep down the middle. Without that Boyle the team is simply not as deep. A good Boyle, and a good line led by Boyle, creates match-up problems for opposing teams and gives the Rangers three strong lines with different skill sets to roll with confidence.

Boyle isn’t the only Rangers forward fighting with himself to be better. Brandon Dubinsky still isn’t justifying his new deal (sorry, one goal doesn’t cut it), Brandon Prust has been indifferent (cause or effect of Boyle’s year?) while Wojtek Wolski can’t get and stay in the line up. However, if Brian Boyle can get close to his level of play from last year he helps those around him. His line playing well helps the other lines and thus it truly could be a knock on effect.

Some people might forget that Boyle had a long scoreless streak last year as well. If his current form (at least offensively) continues questions may be asked whether he was merely on a hot streak last year and it was all a flash in the pan. So far, Boyle hasn’t received much criticism. Whether that’s because of his popularity or the fact his new deal isn’t as big as a guy like Dubinsky’s is a moot point. The Rangers need him to be better and sooner rather than later.


  1. mhurley says:

    Agreed. Just before he scored the goal last night I mentioned that maybe he needs to ride pine and to get his head into the game.

  2. The Suit says:

    Prior to the start of the season I figured he should have be able to score 10-15 goals, but even that is looking unlikely. He def needs to pick up his OZ play.

  3. kgb16 says:

    Watching Boyle play this year, he seems just like Dubinsky, out of it, and not willing to get into it. You’d never know that he towers above other players, and outweighs them, by the way he is hitting (or not hitting). There is nothing fearsome about him, in fact he seems kind of wobbly on his skates like, dare I say it, Hugh Jessiman. Do we think this is a coaching issue?

    • The Suit says:

      Boyle is still hitting players, he just seems a step behind and isnt coming away with the puck as much.

      I don’t think it’s a coaching issue at all. He’s still getting minutes, he and Prust haven’t capitalized as much. Just the nature of the beast with these type of players. Hopefully they can build on yesterday’s win.

  4. bob says:

    At least he is doing alot of the other things well.But we need more scoring from him no doubt.He was never a tough player and he never will be.He will hit in spurts and thats it.He has to learn to use his size and reach on a consistent basis to his advantage.Whether it be in front of their net or ours.That is his ticket to staying in this league.He has to use it to his advantage.

    • kgb16 says:

      Last year and rarely this year, he used to use his momentum and beat the defense wide and take it to the hole. I don’t see much of that, and I see alot of Rangers shooting it over the net when the opportunity arises, especially Boyle. Still, this current line of him with Miotchell and Hagelin might be interesting.