Special Teams

Dan Boyle’s return to the powerplay


It’s no secret the Rangers power play has been the subject of much criticism for seemingly the last decade and this season had been no different up until the return of Dan Boyle. The Rangers have been constantly, and unsuccessfully, looking for a man to run the point since the days of Brian Leetch and it seems as though they may have finally found someone more than competent to do so in Boyle.

In the past five games since the return of Boyle, the Rangers power play has looked much better and certainly more consistent. However the five games leading up to Boyle’s return shows that the Rangers power play was beginning to produce more shot attempts:

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If we now look at Boyle’s first five games since he came back vs. Colorado we start to see a little more consistency:

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Now obviously these are small sample sizes but it’s still interesting to note that the power play had started to improve prior to Boyle’s return and one can only assume it will level off in terms of consistency. You have to wonder if the increase in shot attempts comes from Boyle’s ability to get shots through, and opposing penalty kills (finally) respecting the point shot, something the Rangers have lacked for years.

The unit of Boyle, Derrick Brassard, Derek Stepan, Martin St. Louis and Rick Nash has been moving the puck incredibly well and as a whole has been very impressive. I will continue to take a look at these trends and at some point provide screen shot evidence with goal breakdowns as we move forward.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter for more analysis: @mburnshockey

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  • The only thought on this subject is since Dan Boyle’s return, there has been a load of puck movement that has been lacking forever. Teams can no longer just sit back and wait for us to do nothing on the PP.

    On another subject, last night’s game Boston Vs Pens, the Bruins had 2 goals called back against them. The second off of Lucic’s chest should have counted, but again Toronto makes the call in favor of Cindy’s team, and robs the Bruins of a win!! This is becoming a bad habit for the NHL, and people are starting to get wise, it stinks to high heaven!!!!!

    • There seems to be way too much favouritism in Toronto. I think they interpret the written rules as they see fit. Making it up as they go along. The Rangers always get screwed when a play is reviewed in Toronto.

  • I don’t think Boyle is able to fire a real point shot at the net yet. That wrist will only take more time to heal since he’s playing with it not being fully healed. However, in time I believe he’ll make a huge difference and the PP will worry teams. They are moving the puck very well and as a unit they all look cohesive.

    McDonagh will return soon and the NYR PP will be a strong suit for NY. To me it’s just a matter of Boyle’ wrist being healed enough to take a hard shot on net from the point. Right now the Rangers lack that. As they have for years.

  • Only marginally related, but I just learned that Dan Boyle was undrafted originally before signing with the Panthers. Yet another great undrafted Ranger. Is it just me, or do we have a number of those?

  • Martin, how do you see McDonagh fitting back into the man advantage when he returns? Good chance they use Boyle and McD on the first unit, or will McD get bumped to 2nd unit duties?

    From a fantasy hockey perspective, I’m curious if I should package a McD and say Turris deal to upgrade my center position. McDonnagh’s power play deployment would influence whether I package him or another defensemen in the trade proposal.

    Thanks for weighing in.

    • There’s a chance McDonagh gets put opposite Boyle when he returns, but i’m not sure that happens until the Boyle-Brass-Step-MSL-Nash unit begins to stall. I think more realistically we’ll see McDonagh on the 2nd unit to start off along with a group like Girardi, Duclair, Kreider and Zucc.

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