Editor’s Note: This post was written on 12/25, with some updates made by Dave as of last night’s game.
One of the biggest surprises during the first half of last season was Rangers forward Brian Boyle. Boyle came out of the gate looking like a completely different player and was a huge part of our offense. Through the first three months of last season, Boyle had 14 goals and 22 points in 38 games. After the halfway mark his production fell off a cliff.
This season, Boyle’s contributions on offense have been more congruent with the 2nd half of last year, as he has just two goals to date. To be fair, Boyle’s average minutes per game have slightly decreased from 15:44 last season to 14 minutes this season and obviously he’s being relied on more for his play in the defensive zone, which has been stellar (just look at last night’s game). However, if the Rangers are going to go the distance in the playoffs, they are going to need some scoring from our bottom six and that starts with Brian Boyle.
Now I wasn’t expecting him to go out and score 25 goals this season, but 15 shouldn’t have been a stretch. With Brandon Dubinsky struggling, and the fact that you can only ask so much of guys like Brandon Prust, Mike Rupp, and Ruslan Fedotenko offensively, it’s fair to say that Boyle simply needs to be better offensively.