State of the Rangers

Boyle Needs To Be Better

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.

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  • Boyle is what i thought… a guy that had a random big year that will never happen again. He has been just terrible when it comes to getting quality shots on goal. That being said, he does very well in the defensive role he is given. Makes too much cash now though.

    • I don’t mind his play because he’s been solid defensively. If he chips in 10-15 and continues being a good defender I don’t mind the contract.

  • Dubinsky needs to play up to the money he demanded and was given.Fedotenko such be gone anuff with the old and slow. 10 to 15 goals is Boyle at years end he will be there. Dubinsky lack of production is a problem. He’s not a top six player just not. If Ryan Bourque can’t take Feds spot now will he ever make the show?

  • I’m bummed that Boyle has scored so little this year However…. If last night was any indication ( and I havent tracked this) his line was out against the top line for the Isles almost every shift and they just about shut them down completely. In this scheme, his role to go defense first and not even really worry about scoring. If Boyle’s line starts playing against other 3rd or 4th lines then he had better start producing goals. Dubinsky is a whole ‘nother story. You dont get $4mm/yr to play defense unless you’re our former captain.

  • 32.5% offensive starts, one of the lowest totals in the league. Boyle’s basically taken the Drury role over, and it’s just really, really hard to score consistently in the those situations.

    Tie it with him also shooting well below his career average, and you have Boyle’s disappointing season. The shooting will come around (as will Dubinsky’s), when it does, things will be much better. He’s got the same issue as Dubi though, needs more SOG.

  • Agree that it would be great if he scored more but you need to take into consideration that Boyle starts in the Ozone 32.5% of the time. Lowest among any Ranger by a large margin. He finishes in the Ozone 42% in the Ozone so you can see he is moving the puck up.

    In fact for all forwards in the league that have played 20gms+ only 9 have started in the Dzone more.

    And out of the top 15 players for dzone starts he is the ONLY one with a positive +/- differential per 60. Almost +1.

    • And just to add, he has the highest goals for per 60 out of those 15 players and has the lowest goals against per 60 as well.

      Side note, Dale Weise is putting up some pretty good defensive number as well. almost on par with Boyle.

  • People who have never played Hockey will never understand what a team is consistant of. In the history of Hockey show me one team where all the players were goal scorers. Not even the 80’s Oilers were as such and they were the most prolific scoring team of all time.

    Brian Boyle does many things well however his job is not to be on pace for a 20 to 30 goal season, that being said it would be a very pleasent bonus should he be at years end. Last night his line utterly shut down the Taveres line, played majority of the game in the Isles zone, that line shifted the momentum back to the Rangers early in the 3rd period causing the Isles to take a timeout from an icing after a very prolonged and sustained pressure in the offensive zone.
    Prior to the end of the second period who was it that blocked 3 shots and mind you after he was hurt on the first shot? Yes it was Brian Boyle. He is earning his money and playing to the role he has been designated to.
    Enough of complaining about this player or that player when the Team has far surpassed anyone’s expectations. This team is only deserving of accolades.
    My opinion is that should the Rangers win the Stanley Cup that names such as Mitchell, Woywitka, Stralman, Bickel, Erixon, Deveaux and Eminger should be on the Cup ring as not all of these players will be on the Roster during the playoffs. This is a team and you Ranger fans start appreciating what is being built for you to enjoy, not criticize. You truly have something beautiful and to an extent magical that has developed for you to watch and be proud of in this organization from the team to the prospects, from Gordie clark to the coaching staff and yes Mr Sather as well. Let’s go Rangers

    • I’m sorry, but was that an attempt to say we have never played the game?

      Suit and I have been playing for over 20 years, and I played in college. Try again.

      • Did I say you have not? What I will say is that instead of saying Boyle needs to get better as a thread you could have written a thread on Boyle’s end of the 2nd period and start of the 3rd periods shifts and how they played tremendous hockey, the type of hockey that goes unnoticed by viewers who have never played the game and how those type of plays and shifts can change the momentum of the game just as a goal or and again yes a fight will often do. There is more to hockey than just scoring and as a player you should know that. Write the good stuff too.
        I am only defending Boyle not insinuating a daggone thing. My post was meant to bring attention to what he does that goes unnoticed or ignored by the unaware hockey fans.
        I in fact enjoy this blog and it’s often sound assessments and analysis of the game. What amazes me on Ranger blogs though to include this one as well how the good stuff is seldom written about maybe due in part that it may not get the deserved attention such a thread would get.
        I say this as an example such as the Avery stat when in the line up the winning pct. is this or that, yet Woywitka in the line up has probably the same pct. as Avery. That is a meaningless stat that gets way too much attention.
        Here are facts, that the Rangers have the fewestv losses in the league, are in the top 5 defensively, the scoring has become balanced, the PK is sound and effective and the players playing to a system that all have enrolled in and applying themselves in.

        • “Editor’s Note: This post was written on 12/25, with some updates made by Dave as of last night’s game.”

          “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)”

    • I dont think its complaining as much as trying to find areas to improve upon. I believe any true Ranger fan has got be thrilled with where and how this team is playing this year.
      As I stated above, Boyle is doing what is asked of him by Torts. However, although they are controlling the puck well they are not getting shots. That is an area to try to improve upon. Secondary scoring is critical to any team, including the Gretzky/Messier Oilers.
      For the record, I played hockey (mostly as a defenseman)from youth, at college and then into my mid 30’s.

      • I agree that they should not be satisfied because that is when complacency and or ego will rare it’s ugly head. Tortorella I believe is doing his job in keeping them even keeled as a coach and in the interviews I have yet to hear the players say we are perfect. On a constant basis after the games I hear them say we have still a long way to go. That is a credit to Trots that is seldom noticed by fans. I notice it though. I honestly believe we will see both Boyle and Dubinsky start scoring on a consistent basis after the all star break giving us 3 lines that can score. Hagelin moving to the 2nd line with Richards affected the scoring of that line but the addition of Dubinsky added puck possession and theoretically and by past results a player that can score the goals. Boyle and Dubi are too good not to improve on their scoring. Mitchell is a clever player and a very good passer with a nose for the game and situational awareness like for example you don’t see the passes he made while playing with Hagelin with Dubi and Boyle. They have being playing what 5 games as a line?
        The most amazing thing about this is that next year this line could very well be the 4th line on our team when considering that Krieder, Miller and Thomas will be battling for spots and by theory one of Cally or Hagelin might drop down from the Richards line.

        • Richards has been not very good defensively. Even Callys defensive numbers have taken a big hit I assume by playing with Richards.

          I think having Haggs on the line is a good idea to help with with the D side of things because he has been pretty good in that area.

          • Hagelin’s time has come to change his number to say a 12. He is here to stay in my opinion. He has fit in with Richards and Callahan just as Dubi has fit in with Boyle and Mitchell. Our only player that plays out of place is Feds with Rupp and Prust and that is solely due to the fact that other players found their chemistry with the current line combinations. It is not a surprise to see him diminish statistically and by years end replaced by another young forward. Feds has been a warrior for this team however with the direction the Rangers are going I see him as a commodity used for at the trade deadline to a team where he can go and play in his game or with high hopes that we can win the cup and have his name carved yet on another Stanley Cup ring. Either way the growth of this club has been partly as a direct result of his contributions to the organization.

            I honestly do not see a need to tinker with the line up at all unless it is one of compiling draft picks ore moving up in the draft order. There are very few players that could be had for the RIGHT price and even fewer players that would fit in with our team. Semin not a fit Backes a fit, Iginla not a fit yet Dustin Brown a fit, Weber not a fit and our own Dmen a fit collectively. Stralman and Bickel should remain on the club once Staal and Sauer return and their additions is like the trade on defense for the upgrade. One other player I like is Oshie.

            My point here is that our team is healthy even though we have key pieces still missing and some assets that could be used in a wise way to upgrade the team out of luxury and not need. This is an awesome spot to be in and for the first time in my life as a Ranger fan I get to see it happening to our club. The days of silly trades like Ratelle and Park are over and better yet the trades of Middleton and Zubov an end to a sad chapter in Rangers history of trading blue chip prospects. Having these solid prospects also puts another nail in the coffin of our past mediocrity and that is the an end in signing free agents that historically never panned out as Rangers.
            Players will be coming here now to a culture being manifested that says, you will come here to play and earn your money not simply to collect a pay check. I will take Brian Boyle 100 out of a 100 times over the likes of Holik, Gomez, Drury, Lindros or any other player that signed with us and did not bring his heart to the team

          • No way do they trade Feds…makes no sense. Feds is a depth player teams pick up at the deadline to help for the playoffs. Why would we trade him.

            He was arguable our best forward in the playoffs last season.

          • I was not saying to trade him…I am saying that due to the growth of our club he now plays out of place with linemates that he has a hard time gelling with due to style. I thought I mentioned two things that I hope he wins the Cup as a Ranger this year and the other being that I really see no reason to be active on the trade deadline unless it is for stockpiling draft picks or moving up in the draft in the 1st round. Realistically though this will be Fedetenko’s last year as a Ranger in my opinion.

          • “Feds has been a warrior for this team however with the direction the Rangers are going I see him as a commodity used for at the trade deadline to a team where he can go and play in his game or with high hopes that we can win the cup and have his name carved yet on another Stanley Cup ring.”

            Maybe I read it wrong but is sure sounded like you said he we go elsewhere at the trade deadline to win a cup.

            I agree that I dont see him sticking around next year but with Avery and Christinsen he might find a spot as spare forward.

            After all said and done, we need him for this years playoff run. Even if it is playing on the 4th line.

  • Boyle is not scoring, the sky is falling!

    Man alive, if we get games like last night from Boyle, on a regular basis, GREAT, I won’t complain at all. Look, last season was a fluke, the man never scored more that a half dozen goals in a season before, what the hell are you asking for 15-20-30 goals this year, and then complain that he is over paid, please!!!! He is solid on defense, and D wins games, period.

    Dubi is contributing as well, but he is more of a dissappointment because of lack of scoring. Explain to me why Torts puts Dubi in when we are on the PK, PP, wants to shut down an oppossing player, and or protecting a lead. All the chicken littles complain, but Torts trusts him, and the man is earning his keep.

    We are playing some great hockey right now, and still have people out there bitching, enough already!

  • no. he needs to stay as consistent at eating up important minutes and playing lights out defensively as he has. right now he is a fantastic “let our stars rest and brian can take this shift” guy. oooh. about to submit a guest post for this.

  • Could BB be better on the offensive side, and would it help the team if he was? Of course.

    Does BB NEED to be better to justify either his place in the lineup or his contract? I personally don’t think so….

  • The sky isn’t falling. I just wish Boyle had more than 2 goals. He’ll likely finish with under 10 goals, which is below my personal expectations for him. I’m happy do see the defensive aspect of his game – which believe me I notice as I grew up playing defense- but still 2 goals is meh. Anyone know what his OZ starts were last year?

    That’s it from me folks…back to the beach

  • The Rangers Are having a great season. None us thought with the injury to Staal this team would be battling for division title. fast forward to all the injuries today. Slats deserve a ton of credit for all the depth in organization.

    Boyle was never a goal scorer and last year he filled a void because of Gabby’s terrible season. This season Gabby is lighting it up and Boyle roll is to shutdown the other teams top line. He is doing a great job and very well maybe the best face-off guy on the team. Give Mitchell-Dubi-Boyle line to develop chemistry and tough hard nosed goals will come. Dubi needs to start scoring for 4 million a year. I love Dubi and think by the end of the year he will score 15 goals.

    As Ranger fan we all need to be happy about the season so far but the future is so bright. We finally have kid’s who step in and contribute in the NHL. With all this talent in the minors it reminds of what Neil Smith traded away to bring the cup to NY in 94. If we the Rangers make to the cup great, but how many cups could they win with all young talent in the next 5-7 years?

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