Players

Questioning Dan Boyle as a healthy scratch

danboyle
Boyle

The Rangers beat the Washington Capitals on Tuesday in a game that featured some pretty goals but some ugly defensive play on the part of the home team. Despite their victory they were badly outpossessed in the second and third periods, finding themselves frequently pinned in their own defensive end. The game drew into high relief the Rangers need to play a stronger defensive game, especially against top teams such as Washington, and was notable in part for the absence of Dan Boyle. Perhaps the Rangers could have used the talents of the veteran puck moving defenseman on Tuesday, given how difficult it was for them to exit their own zone at times and given Boyle’s strong first pass out of the zone and positive influence on possession.

Let’s start with Alain Vigneault’s reasons for scratching Boyle. Despite complimenting his defensive play and composure in one on one situations, the Rangers head coach described a need for “quicker decisions with the puck” and noted that he was brought to New York in order to help with puck movement and the power play. AV also made note of the fact that at 39, Boyle is in need of some adjustments due to his age. Still though it seems strange to bench a veteran player for his lack of offensive production when he’s been posting overwhelmingly positive possession numbers in his last few games.

In the five games preceding his healthy scratch on Tuesday, Dan Boyle had an average CF (Corsi-For) of 53.5%, almost a full ten percent higher than his defensive partner Marc Staal averaged in those same games at 43.95%, and 3.5% higher than the average for Rangers defensemen of 50%. For broader comparison, Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi came in at an average CF of 50% and 48.5% over those same five games, and Keith Yandle and Kevin Klein had averages of 52.4% and 51.9%, respectively. While these numbers need to be contextualized in terms of who’s playing against other teams’ toughest competition, it’s still notable Boyle demonstrates a substantially higher share of the offense on ice than almost any of the others. While his CF was 40% in the game directly preceding his scratch, it’s important to note that he was right in the middle of the pack for Rangers defensemen that game in terms of that stat, higher than Girardi’s 39.3% and Staal’s 32%.

All of this is to say that if driving play is the issue for Dan Boyle, it would seem to be a bigger issue for the rest of the Rangers defense corps. Even taking into consideration things like zone starts and the opposing teams’ competition, it’s hard to deny that Boyle’s share of possession while on ice is impressive, especially when compared to that of his defensive partner Marc Staal. His worst game of the five preceding the healthy scratch was on the 30th against the Maple Leafs, and one game seems to be a pretty short leash for an otherwise well credentialed defenseman, especially given the performances of other veteran d-men.

I realize that perhaps not all readers are as inclined to CF% statistics as some however, and so below are a few GIFs of solid defensive play from Boyle. While these examples of solid defensive play from number 22 are from earlier in the season and his scratch is more related to his offensive play as of late, I think it’s worthwhile to consider that he has some defensive savvy which, taken together with his solid offensive abilities, could have been of some help in an otherwise tough game on Tuesday against the Caps and are certainly worth taking into future consideration when looking at lineup decisions.

Dan-Boyle-2-on-1

On this play, Boyle breaks up a 2-on-1 against Montreal without snow angeling himself out of the play.

dan-boyle-2

Here Boyle stops Patrick Kane on a rush in the zone. Kane is one of the fastest and more gifted offensive players in the game.

dan-boyle-1

Finally, we see Boyle rubbing Jonathan Toews out of the play.

While I am questioning the logic of scratching Dan Boyle and proposing that he at the very least might have been able to ease the Rangers’ possession woes somewhat on Tuesday night, I think it’s important that I offer a few caveats. The first is that Boyle hasn’t yet produced any points so far this season, and that the Rangers’ power play has not been great. The second is that Boyle is being held to such high standards precisely because he is a veteran player and because he is a specific type of defenseman. Although I personally find it strange to hold him to different standards than other veteran players, other –including the coaching staff– might disagree and are free to do so. It should also be noted that if scratching him was meant in a way to motivate better play, Boyle’s CF% following his previous healthy scratch was 68.2%, so perhaps this will have a similar effect on his game. Finally, these decisions don’t occur in a vacuum, with considerations like Dylan McIlrath’s playing time also coming into play.

I’ll also be the first to note that despite being a fan of his game, and despite believing that his strong puck moving abilities could have perhaps eased the Rangers’ possession woes on Tuesday, this is all conjecture, and that nearly every member of the team took a shellacking against Washington so he may not have helped much in any event. Somehow despite that, and despite lacking Dan Boyle’s strong offensive play, they still managed to eke out a victory.

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  • Yeah, that was the problem, no Dan Boyle.
    I was hoping the headline was sarcastic, you’ve got to be kidding me, Boyle is downright awful. I don’t care what your meaningless numbers say, stats are bullshit in all sports. You have to watch the games, my eyes say Boyle is horrific in his own end, and not much better in the offensive zone.

    • You can see what you like and have any opinion of what Dan Boyle. However, without any facts your opinion is just fiction. The stats give facts with which to base your opinion on.

      The facts show that Boyle is the Rangers best defenseman at suppressing shot attempts against. It’s not even really close either.

      While the Rangers defense is on the ice the Blueshirts bleed shot attempts against. Boyle is the only Rangers Dman with respectable numbers in this regard.
      Boyle isn’t a spring chicken anymore and he’s lost a step but he gets the job done at both ends of the ice.

      • Opinions are opinions, not fiction.

        Regarding Boyle, the stats show that he is one of the better players at doing his job, since zone starts certainly factor into his CF and CA/60 ratings. I’m a fan of Boyle, and think he is incredibly under valued by the fans.

        The lowest CA/60 doesn’t necessarily mean the best at suppressing shots. There’s a lot of context to the stat that needs to be evaluated as well.

        • I appologize for that statement. I didn’t intend to be offensive.
          As far as Boyle goes, I don’t think he’s the greatest at anything. He’s not even the best at stopping shot attempts since as you said Dave he starts the majority of his shifts in the attacking zone. However, he’s a pretty sound Defenseman. His Puck moving ability is a given but his Play inside the Rangers zone is certainly not bad. He gets the job done with the safe play most of the time. He’s not young anymore and if he’s out of position it seems that’s his 38 year old legs not moving like they may have in the past.
          Boyle isn’t a liability in the defensive zone for the Rangers. I think he certainly looks better defensively this season with the time spent under AV than he did last season after 10 or 11 games.
          Is it possible the reason AV sat him against Washington was more about the matchup than his underwhelming possession numbers in that last game? Maybe AV just wanted to play his big defenseman against a physical Capitals team?

    • ” I don’t care what your meaningless numbers say, stats are bullshit in all sports. ”

      ^this will make all of the nonsense that I have to hear at work today palatable. Its nice to get the-most-absurd-thing-I’ll hear-all-day-today out of the way early.

        • So let me get this straight, you don’t like the argument being made about Boyle’s value, so to prove that everything Pat wrote is valueless, you’ll just simply say all stats are crap?

          Stats don’t tell the whole story, and I think that’s especially true with the ultimate team game that hockey is. But to say that “stats are BS in all sports” is absurd. Every GM in hockey and every sport for that matter would laugh at you, since they ALL use advanced stats as part of the talent evalaution process.

    • Dan Boyle is horrible, plain and simple. McIlrath looks very tentative out there..seems to lack confidence in his own zone. I like Mcilrath’s size and toughness..he just needs to gain some confidence and stop thinking so much out there… Right now, Diaz is better than both of them…

  • I think it has more to do with getting mcilrath a game. And quite frankly I don’t see much in him. So just move on allready.

  • Yeah… Boyle has been okay, but he’s generally getting sheltered minutes, and I can guarantee that, while probably better than McIlrath, he was not going to turn the tide of that game. He just sits for McIlrath because he’s old and could use the break.

  • Thanks for the Post Pat!

    It’s lamb that we have to deal with Boyle’s contract!
    He is not getting younger, the new kid is young and will get better, look at Del Zotto.

    I think that if the kid played full time he’d improve, defense is hard & takes more time & playing at the high level.

    This is just a hard subject matter for the team! AND US! LOL

    Anyone have a live chicken!

  • Braddy Skjei will be up sometime in the season to help steady the Rangers defense and Dillon Mac. will improve. Good bye grandpa Dan

    • How do you get rid of Boyle and where does he go? Unfortunately the only option is to ride this year out. Sure, you could bench the guy, but you’re looking at 4.5 mil of dead cap space. So very unlikely. Maybe in the playoffs if he falls off a cliff… that would be the only realistic option. As per his contract he needs to OK a trade or demotion to the AHL, which is almost certainly a non-starter.

  • When the Rangers signed Boyle, I wasn’t very happy then, and not disappointed after, knowing that this guys, in a series of dinosaur signings, came here to go thru the motions, collect his last big check, and be a no show…..

    All the years in SJ, with an all-star cast supporting him, he never delivered them to the promised land, what made anyone think he would here????????

    Let’s be honest with ourselves, he is somewhat undersized, somewhat slow, can’t make the adjustment to the AV style game, and is too old to teach new tricks. Bottom line, he is a shell of the man that won with the Tort’s team in Tampa, along with MSL, and Vinny.

    I go back to the analogy of YA Title, with the 62 Giants, going to the championship, and 63 where he got old over night. Father time has caught up with Danny boy, and he ordered his gold plated rocker which should be comfortable for years to come !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • I never said he doesn’t try, he just fails.

        he is a has been from day one………..

        To all the mental midgets who won’t respond, but give thumbs down willy nilly, have fun with this post !!!!!!!!

  • How ironic this post is about Boyle, and the photo shows him falling down on the ice. The guy had his moments as a good puck moving defense man, that was about 7 years ago with Tampa. He is a shadow of his former self. The Ranger announcers knows it, AV knows it, everyone on this site knows it!!, His contract is absurd. I for won think he should be rotated with Mcllrath on a regular basis( have a oxygen tank close by) We have to see him off and on to justify the money he makes..

  • Don’t kid yourself — Boyle would have been destroyed the other night, particularly in the 2nd period. As much as I want McIlrath to play, perhaps it would have been best to play Boyle vs Caps, because it could have resulted in a very long benching of Boyle. McIlrath held up reasonably well, especially considering his lack of game experience so far.

    Boyle is not a puck-moving defenseman; he is a puck-carrying defenseman and that is Vigneault’s problem with Boyle. He wants him to move the puck, whereas Boyle wants to go end-to-end. Vigneault will not be teaching an old dog new tricks.

    McIlrath is still developing and learning at a very nice clip. Boyle and Diaz will only get worse. Let’s get on with it already and put a fork in both of those aged, useless defenseman, and let McIlrath develop. Once the kid’s confidence and skills cross, we’ll have a very effective defenseman on our team.

    • Don’t kid yourself — The Rangers were destroyed the other night, particularly in the 2nd period.

      • Never said they weren’t. Point was and is Boyle would not have done well or better than any other player.

        Boyle’s rate of physio decline is very sharp now; it happens to 39yr old athletes. Other than he is a future Hall of Famer and has a big contract there is no reason for him to be in the top 6.

  • Pat’s post on Boyle is exactly why this blog is so terrific! Well done!

    There are certain players that we simply cannot see objectively and only see the negative. Right now, that guy is Boyle. Clearly, he’s been a disappointment. No question, he’s on a short leash. No doubt, he has his flaws and his time is running out.

    But I’m sorry, he is NOT the disaster some make him out to be. Try to look at it objectively. He comes to the Rangers last year, breaks his wrist in the season opener, then is saddled with illness and family issues. His regular season was ruined. But by the end of the season, I thought he got better and better, and in the playoffs, he definitely raised his game. He was the Rangers best point producer from the blueline and vs TB and you can make the case he was the Rangers best defenseman in that series.

    So far this season, he’s had his ups and downs. But the CF shows that he IS contributing. No doubt, he has to do much, much more to stay in the lineup. He was signed to generate offense. If he does that, he will stay in the lineup. If he doesn’t, he’s going to see less and less time. Plain and simple.

    But I will say again what I said before, given Boyle at his best vs McIlrath at his perceived best, which player’s skill sets are more valuable to a coach like AV? I think we all know the answer.

    • What is Boyle at his best? When has he displayed it? You point out he led our team in playoff points last year. He was also very poor defensively.

      The objective info I see on Boyle is “his best” is a rapidly moving and declining target. Boyle may be better than McIlrath right now; I disagree with that but let’s say he is. What is really going on here is Boyle is declining markedly and McIlrath is progressing; he only lacks consistent game time. Fans like you and I are only left to discuss whether their performance lines are moving toward one another or have crossed. It’s all just noise for now but make no mistake, Boyle as an NHL hockey player is done.

      Rangers management just has to decide if they prefer to squeeze everything and anything out of Boyle, or whether they protect the end of this season and next and let McIlrath develop early on this season. It’s hard for people to admit they made a $9mm mistake.

      • Boyle had a strong post season last year. That is when, in my eyes, the FA signing went from a disaster to palatable to successful.

        He sucks to watch because he is old and small. I am (was) an undersized defenseman and watching someone struggle to handle bigger and stronger opponents in front of the net or along the boards is frustrating. I did it successfully (at a much lower level) time and time again, so yes, it’s annoying to see someone infinitely better than I am struggle there.

        Couple that with the uphill battle he’s facing due to the nature of the contract he signed being a free agent coming in to be the final piece to get our PP on track and win us a cup…. he is never going to win over the masses.

        But when it comes to objectively looking at which of our defenseman does better work with retaining and distributing the puck…. he is no where near the disaster everyone makes him out to be. He is more efficient than most give him credit for. Watch the 1st gif above. The pass block isn’t what impresses, its the quick little pass to Zuc to turn the play the other way with 3 Habs caught deep which is impressive. Most other D on our team probably turn that into a 50/50 play along the boards once they break up the pass.

        Everyone, unfortunately, just looks at him through the wrong lens.

        • That is very good perspective. I just cannot get to your level of evaluation on Boyle. For example, I’d characterize his playoffs performance last season as changing his signing from a disaster to a TEMPORARY palatable event. Not close to being successful though because that would require ongoing performance, which has not been the case.

          Boyle still makes some top quality plays and is composed with the puck. Yet there are several other attributes which, on balance, more than offsets some of his +ves.

          Talk about an uphill battle: whose hill is bigger than McIlrath’s? Many fans want to see him fail just so their complaints about where he was drafted years ago are proven accurate.

          This kid has progressed each year except for his injury year and he is still getting better. I think it is debatable as to who is the better player today (Boyle or McIlrath) but I would bet the ranch that by end of season at the latest there will be no doubt in my mind.

          The more games McIlrath gets now the better this club will be come playoff time. That’s really my main gripe….playoff time. I envision Boyle will be markedly worse; and McIlrath can be markedly better.

          • Fair points. I think what separates us is expectations… and that’s really how all players are measured, so the rifts in opinion are explainable, if not justifiable. I definitely understand the temporarily palatable vs successful notion. Depending on how the rest of the year plays out, I could very well find myself in your camp. Time will tell.

            Part of my frustration is many ppl already write him off, like I found myself doing last year before he turned things around. At the end of the day, he is a Ranger and I will root for him to succeed. Hopefully he does and I can tell everyone they were wrong : )

          • “At the end of the day, he (Boyle) is a Ranger and I will root for him to succeed.”

            Best comment of the day!

    • Ed

      My response has nothing to do with Mc Irath, but Boule himself. Can you honestly look in the mirror and say Boyle deserves to be out there?

      Can you not see the man is half the man he was just two-three years ago?

      Your my age, or close to it 69, you remember YA Title on his knees after some hit in the 63 season, and your gut told you he stayed around a year too long?

      I said he is somewhat small, somewhat slow, and too old to teach new tricks, how far off base am I????????

      We have him until the end of this season, and then we rid yourselves of the old retread, and bring in a young kid, strong legs, who will play as the coach wants, Brady will do the job, and the nightmare of Boyle will be history……

      This again goes back to getting the old farts in here to try to squeeze an ounce of talent out of a rock, it ain’t there !!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Walt, I’m in the geezer club, but you have me beat by about 14 years! 🙂

        I never saw Tittle play, I’m a huge Giants fan and know something about that era. He came to the Giants when he was 34yo, no longer a spring chicken by NFL QB standards. And yet he led the Giants to three consecutive NFL Championship Games and made the Pro Bowl for three of the four seasons he was on the team. Should the Giants NOT have traded for him because he was on the back nine of his career? The iconic photo of him bloodied and beaten on the field at Pittsburgh in 1964 remains one of the most famous sports pictures of all time. But the Giants collapse wasn’t all about Tittle. Gifford, Webster and Robustelli all got old overnight, and the team was done. But Tittle was great for those first three seasons.

        Should the Mets not have traded for a 41yo Willie Mays? While not close to his former greatness, he still was an inspirational leader who helped lead the Mets to the NL Pennant in 1973.

        Should the Broncos have not traded for Peyton Manning? He’s struggling now but despite that, he still may win a SB this year. You think the Broncos would undo that signing?

        Should the ’94 Rangers NOT have traded for veterans who were pretty much on their last legs like Anderson, Larmer, Lidster, Lowe, MacTavish and Wells? Weren’t they crucial to the Rangers success that season?

        Now, I’m not at all saying that Boyle is a Tittle, Manning or Mays. But veterans players aren’t always bad signings. Has Boyle been what I had hoped? No. But has he been this horrible disaster of a player that’s been implied by many here? Also no. He’s had his moments. He needs to be better. But he hasn’t been that bad. And he has something that no other Ranger other than Stoll has–a Stanley Cup ring. That experience in my view still has value.

        • Ed

          As to Willie Mays, I saw him play as a kid, great player, but was a shell of the man when he came to the Mets. In that World Series he made a farce of himself, and I believe he embarrassed himself in the process.

          Not every veteran signing is great, some work out, but I’d venture to say that if they did an analysis, the result would show 75-80% of those signings don’t work out. Over the history of this franchise we went after old, over the hill vets, and got nothing in return but broken hearts, and loss of young kids who turn into wonderful players long term. So to your question, keep the old farts, I want young, hungry kids on my team.

          Just look at the finals last season, how far did Tampa go with kids? For that matter, how many kids won a cup for Tampa, with Torts at the helm??? We just come from different points of view………

  • Dave, you kind of touched on this above but is there a way to normalize some of the fancy stats (CF% for example) based on quality of teammates, quality of competition or zone starts?

    Like you say, there is a lot of context that needs to be interpreted. But my biggest gripe is that, to me, something like zone starts should be able to be normalized. So a guy who gets a 60/40 OZ split as opposed to 40/60 should translate to a lower CA60 of x. And if he doesn’t maintain that cushion, then we can deduce that the 40/60 guy does more with less.

    To me, zone starts are very objective and that analysis should fully be attainable. Quality of teammates / competition would be a tougher one to crack

    • Baseball’s ahead of the curve with its weighted statistics (wOBA, wRC). Someone smarter than me needs to get on that.

      • Baseball has the benefit of being much more static / less fluid than hockey. It’s so much easier to analyze on the individual level as you can isolate things much much easier.

        • Even in baseball, stats are limited. Years ago, the Padres had a fellow named Bobby Brown (I think). Great fastball hitter, couldn’t hit a curve. He was a first rate ninth inning pinch hitter against closers who lived and died with a 102 mph fast ball that just whizzed by most batters. But he didn’t belong in the starting lineup. Stats are affected by the way players are used.

          In fact, Bill James (guru of baseball stats) prefaces all of his analysis on the assumption that games are managed the way they are managed. A single is worth so much in today’s game, not as something abstract.

          Hockey is harder because coaches make so many more arbitrary decisions — like under no circumstances should Stu Bickel be on the ice against a top line. Things like that really help a player’s stats.

      • I understand there isn’t a stat that can do this yet, but one can be developed kind of simply. Can it be as simple as looking at a dependant / independent variable study.

        In other words, of all guys given 55/45 OZ starts, what does the CF% distribution look like? I’m assuming our results are normally distributed. Which players comprise our right tail (higher CF%)? Those guys are the out performers.

        We could also deduce our mean CF% at the 55/45 level. That would be our expected target. Then, say, we analyze the 50/50 level. Some of those guys in the right tail would have a higher CF% than many in our 55/45 bucket. It wouldn’t be hard to figure out an expected CF% given xx/xx zone starts.

        Now, this assumes quality of competition / teammates are all equal – which is not accurate or reasonable to assume. Part of what I cannot grasp is how are those metrics quantified? If that can be explained it would go a long way in helping my understanding.

        In a vacuum, though, the above zone start / CF% relationship could be explored quite easily. I think the struggle in trying to develop what I’m asking is quantifying the other pieces of the puzzle in order to complete an accurate model. I’m looking at 1 variable (zone starts) while ignoring multiple others which are necessary (quality teammate, competition, team system employed, etc).

        • I think this is critical. In comparing CF to +/-, the advantage of CF is that it is based on a larger sample size and so less subject to noise. However, over a large number of games, this effect disappears if one simply uses the base numbers. However, if you try the analysis you suggest, the small sample size effect will blow +/- to smithereens whereas CF might prove meaningful.

    • I found this on the FAQ of a stats website

      Do you have a quality of competition/teammate metric?
      Yes, there are a few such metrics. The first thing you can look at are the TMGF20, TMGA20 and TMGF% metrics (along with their shot, fenwick and corsi counterparts) for a given player for a quality of teammate metric. These are indicative of the offensive, defensive and overall ability of the players teammates. Alternatively you can use HARO QOT, HARD QOT, and HART QOT which is the average HARO, HARD, and HART of the players line mates. The same stats exist for Quality of Competition under OppGF20, OppGA20, OppGF%, HARO QOC, HARD QOC, and HART QOC along with their shot, fenwick and corsi based metrics

      link here: http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/faq.php

      • There’s a lot to digest there. My recommendation is to use the quality of competition/teammates stats at war-on-ice. Simpler, same data.

  • Polarizing topic for sure. Bottom-line, Boyle’s going to have to be an important part of this team this year for it to be successful. Just not enough defensemen on this team can transition the puck adequately (especially Girardi and Staal). Maybe if Skjei comes up and impresses that changes, but as it is now, too many poor puck handling defensemen.

      • Definitely are if the Rangers Dmen can’t move the puck like has been the case early this season.

    • I’m on board with you. The glimmer of hope, to me, is that Boyle performed well last year down the stretch and in the playoffs.

  • In a game where the other team dominates puck possession any defensive change gets magnified. Let’s just say it wasn’t Boyle but either Stall or Girardi benched for McIlvaine. Let’s also say game played out exactly same way. Would we question those moves? Probably so. The defense in general is sub-part and slower than a quick, puck moving team should have. Sitting Dan wasn’t the reason for the Caps domination; it is the defense as a whole.

  • This time last season there weren’t widespread complaints with Martin St. Louis. By the 40th game, the mood changed. By the 65th game and through the playoffs, it was painful to watch him on the ice.

    Boyle is at a more advanced point of decline, physiologically, than St. Louis was at this time last season. Give it time.

    • Oh soooooooooooo right on the point, thanks for seeing it, and expressing it. There are too many who just won’t admit the mistake that Boyle is !!!!!!!!!!!

      • There’s a difference between admitting a mistake (it was, should have kept Stralman) and understanding the value he still brings. This post lays out nicely how Boyle has been undervalued, even if he is aging before our eyes.

        MSL was a possession black hole last year, very different.

        • not being a smart ass but Boyle was never considered a good defensive d-man, but a good offensive d-man who now has become a defensive liability………..

          having said that, this is an example of my pet peeve, they bring in over paid, under performing vets, who come here to learn how to vacation before they retire !!!!!!!!!

          now that was a smart ass remark………..

    • Last year he improved as the year went on. I’m not saying that will happen again. But there is just as good a chance of that happening as there is his game falling off a cliff, like MSL last yr.

      What is frustrating is that all of the Boyle haters don’t admit he had a very strong playoffs for us last year. He performed and no one gives him credit there.

      • Boyle had a good playoffs record last season. I don’t see how fans cannot acknowledge that. I want to say that in case my comments were not balanced.

        I think Vigneault sees your point exactly but also see a different player this season than, say, games 60-82 last season. Vigneault has talked about how when has coached aging stars before; he knows when they are losing it at a good clip, and when they are not. It could be why Vigneault is trying to get Boyle to change the type of game he plays.

        We are fighting time, really. Boyle will continue to decline to the point he announces his retirement. Usually, these guys play a full season longer than they should and coaches tend to also play them longer than they should. I think that is the case with Boyle.

  • I Keep hearing what a great asset he was during the playoff run. Did he not give up on a play at the end of the game vs the Caps that lead to a game winning last second goal?? For every point he accumulated, he was on the ice for twice as many more when the opponents scored.. Go AWAY!!

    • Bobby. If you want to blame someone for that goal, unfortunately you’ve gotta call out McDonagh, not Boyle. McDonagh lets Ovie get positioning on him and walk out of the corner with the puck, and then decides to chase him behind the net (even though Stepan already has that covered) and blows his assignment on Ward in front. If you want to talk about someone who gave up on a play it would be McDonagh, probably my favorite Ranger



    • As for your last point, in 19 games he had 3 goals, 7 assists and was a -3. I think your math is slightly off.

  • So how does stats effect a player who has a partner that constantly coughs up the puck on a bad turn over? How do stats effect the 2nd Washington goal where Girardi hits the post and before you know it it is a 3 on 1….How do stats effect shit happens scenarios? How do stats effect Stepan when Kreider keeps missing his scoring opportunities? We all know how stats effect them when Kreider buries them?
    Stats can never give you say all catch all. There are 2 reasons for that. 1) Hockey is a team sport and 2) There are many factors involved in Hockey that stats can not provide all the details. The human element is way too much a factor. Players are not computers, decisions are still a major part of any sport played by humans that are factored in by the situation. Not all breakaways are shoot first or deke first. Not all 2 on 1’s will be pass shoot.

  • I don’t hate Dan Boyle but everytime I see him interviewed I can’t help thinking that he looks really really old and very tired. And it’s the tired part that concerns. As I said before the way to deal with this problem is to swap he & Dylan out on a fairly regular basis. Change it up on back to backs or put Dylan in for bigger, heavier teams. This preserves Boyle and will make him “fresher” for the playoffs. There is no topic that generates more discussion than our D, but in that game against Washington, what concerns me more was how often their forwards just overpowered ours along the boards, esp. in our own end. We have some big boys that need to be a lot tougher in their board play.

    • Something to think about next time he gets interviewed, how many times have we heard Boyle say “I was brought here to play in the PO’s” ?

      Are we to interpret that the regular season means nothing, and I can dog it as long as I want???????/

      Just think about this all you guys supporting Boyle !!!!!!!!!!

      FYI I pull for the uniform, not the player, and if someone isn’t proud enough to play the way he should, then I don’t want that guy in my uniform……………

      • Walt, you nailed it, your post sums up Boyle’s career ( if you can call it that) in a nut shell, as a NYR, Ranks right up their with the worst free agent signings in our history!!

  • In reviewing the replies to the ‘engaging’ post, there is little mention of PP ineffectiveness. One supposed reason we needed to get Yandle was the poor PP performance. The same PP Dam Boil, PP QB was meant to improve. The forwards and scheme are not helping either.
    .
    Agree he played well in playoffs, but he is a huge risk taker and likes to wander down low in Ozone, which frankly was needed to generate some O because the forwards could not win 50/50 puck battles.
    .
    AV’s criticism was very important. Boil was brought in to help get the O moving through the rush and he is not passing the puck quickly enough preventing break outs and quality scoring opps (see Nash, Rick).
    .
    I also blame the extended McBeast shifts in the 2nd on Yandle who had two golden opps to clear the puck and did not, the second resulting in the TO.
    At least with Boil sitting, we don’t have to watch a Boil/Yandle pairing. Good Lord.

  • When I payed peewee hockey we had this one guy that totally sucked but we lost every game he didn’t play in.

    Come tourney time. He played every game. And we won.

      • Haha.

        My point is just because someone fails the eye test or doesn’t play well doesn’t mean they necessarily have a negative impact on the team.

        In my case it was superstition but we still won. Like when cam talbot used to play goal. Not better than Hank but for a while there we played really good in front of cam.

  • Boyle? Appreciate the time and efforts that goes into these articles, including the on ice analysis. Suppressing shots is an interesting stat. But the Rangers’ most important player is at risk every game, with little resistance, because there is no crease clearer. Mcllrath played over 19 min., looked good getting the puck out of the Rangers zone, was +1, with one shot. Give him the opportuntiy to be the player the Rangers really need, the player that suppresses injury to the King.

  • Talk about baptism by fire for the new guy Pat. I can only imagine how the email went…….

    Dave: Ok I’ve looked at some statistics and I think someone’s gotta write a “Dan Boyle isn’t as bad as everyone wants/thinks he is” article. Anyone want to do it?

    no response

    Dave: alright, Pat’s got this one.

  • I think the post misses the key point of what is going on here. This isn’t about comparing Boyle to Staal. The Rangers are carrying four right defensemen, none of whom has spent much time on the left AFAIK. They must play three and scratch one. AV must make this decision – either on a game by game basis – or on a permanent basis. IMO the best way to make the right decision is to play all four and see what they can do, which means scratching different guys in different games.

    I am suspicious of Corsi, simply because some defensemen are sheltered to the extent that the coach won’t leave them on the ice against certain players. Some get better teammates. Ultimately, I want AV to play the three guys he trusts most — but part of that means letting Boyle and McIlrath play against Ovechkin and Crosby to see what happens.

    Personally, I think it’s to Dylan’s credit that one of his shifts lasted forever and didn’t lead to a goal.

  • It truly amazes me how many people just love hating this guy.

    Does he make mistakes out there? Yes he does, but that comes with the type of player he is, especially in that position. Show me one offensive defenseman that doesn’t make mistakes. If Erik Karlsson or Cam Fowler (No Pun :-)) was on our club, many of us would be surprised just how many little mistakes those guys would make game in and out, however, I guarantee that nobody would hate them as much as some of us are hating Boyle.

    Also, this whole “We need a crease clearer” request is getting a lil stale. This isn’t 1986 anymore, and the game is far different then it used to be. Don’t get me wrong, my favorite player and most important player on the team needs protection, but right now.as it stands, we have, as of now, a very strong D-Corps that can get that job done, from top to bottom and is just as strong in that department in particular then any team in the league.

    Also, Isn’t his contract up at the end of the year? So then why is he getting so much heat for it? Smh…

    Sorry Walt, but I gotta go with guys like Eddie and Hatrick on this one.

    • Yes, Rob, you are entitled to your opinion. Consider the traffic Lundqvist gets in front of him, wonder how many goals resulted because the Rangers allowed that traffic. How did Pacioretty who crashed into Lundqvist, (the Rangers responded, Lundqvist fought him), and Zibanejad who fell on Lundqvist’s knee, get so close.

  • Oh and I almost forgot to say one more thing: Just because Boyle is excelling in a statistic that shows that shots are suppressed when he’s out there, doesn’t mean that he’s better at poking the puck, cutting the lanes or blocking the shots. I believe, the reason why he’s excelled in this department more so, is because when he’s out there, he’s driving up the possesion time, hence, how can the other team shoot the puck on Hank when were controlling the puck more when he’s out there.

  • I see a guy with sinking possession numbers despite somehow even more sheltered minutes. From a “Girardi has been worse” standpoint, definitely, his numbers have been worse. But if AV has to gameplan around his Boyle usage without getting the same benefit that sheltering Yandle does, sitting him is pretty logical.

  • all in all the roadtrip was great for the boys tomorrow night the hurricanes then Thursday night the blues have a great day and welcome home.

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