Brian Boyle isn’t going to fill up the stat sheet every night. He has only had one season of scoring more than 20 goals, but Boyle is probably one of the New York Rangers‘ most important players.
The Rangers are trying to become a more offensive team. They are starting to make the transition to a team that pushes the pace and relies on quickness. Boyle isn’t the prototypical player for this kind of system, but every team needs a guy to kill penalties. Every team needs a guy that will give up his body and block a shot. Every team needs a guy that is virtually unbeatable in the face-off circle, and this is where Boyle thrives.
Boyle isn’t going to score a lot, but he is going to be one of the anchors of the Rangers third and fourth lines which are so important. Last year when we saw the Boston Bruins dismantle the Rangers it was mostly due to fourth line play. The Bruins’ fourth line dominated the Rangers all series long. Now that Boyle is playing a role that better suits him he is going to be one of those unsung heroes. If the Rangers are in a playoff series Boyle thrives in that situation. In the last two playoffs he has played in 28 games and scored six goals with five assists for 11 points. That is more goals than Rick Nash has in his playoff career.
Boyle is going to fly under the radar all year. If he gets to double digit goals it would surprise me, but he is still one of the Rangers’ most important players.