Dan Boyle cares more about winning than his stats

Dan Boyle (Photo: Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)

Dan Boyle (Photo: Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)

Dan Boyle isn’t stark raving mad over the questioning of his production, but he doesn’t understand why his personal play would be more important than the team’s success.

[su_quote cite=”Brett Crygalis” url=”https://nypost.com/2015/03/07/why-rangers-boyle-is-bristling-about-critique-of-his-stats/”]People are more worried about the goals and the assists that I don’t have versus how the team is doing. “I just don’t understand why it’s so important — the team is winning. That’s important. As far as how I’m playing, I’ll just let you guys say what you’re going to say, because you’re going to say it anyway.”[/su_quote]

Boyle has had a rough first season on Broadway that started with a broken hand just 2 periods in. That was followed by an illness that knocked him out of the lineup not long after he got back. It came at a bad time because he had just had 2 consecutive games with a goal.

In fairness, this season has been a major adjustment. Last year in San Jose he was averaging nearly 22 minutes a game, this season it’s down to around 20 minutes per.  That’s a reduction of 3-4 shifts a game. In the month of February it has gone down to just over 19 minutes. Now that Keith Yandle has been acquired, it seems likely to stay there. Since Yandle’s acquisition Boyle is averaging 19.24 minutes per game.

Alain Vigneault is thrilled with his new look defense. “We have three pairs that I feel very comfortable playing against anybody right now,” the coach told the media yesterday. AV explained the importance of such a strong back six, especially on the road when the home team has last change. While he may not get the upfront matches he wants, he feels confident in the defense on the ice.

[su_quote cite=”Brett Crygalis” url=”https://nypost.com/2015/03/07/why-rangers-boyle-is-bristling-about-critique-of-his-stats/”]“I figured that adding Yandle to our group was going to make us a better group,” said Vigneault, whose team has beaten the Predators 4-1 and lost a great 2-1 overtime game to the Red Wings in Detroit with Yandle in the lineup. “I just think as a group, we’ve played some good hockey against two very good teams. I know having Keith there is helping our group, but I couldn’t be specific on the individual impact it has had.”[/su_quote]

Dan Boyle (Neil Miller)

Dan Boyle (Neil Miller)

For Boyle, the acquisition of Yandle wasn’t needed to add a spark to his game. He’s a competitor with a drive to win. While many feel he has struggled, I still look to his 8 goals in 46 games from the backend as a serious plus. Add on the 7 assists and the plus 14 and you have to be pleased with all things considered. His pairing at times on the PP with Yandle looked promising in the limited sample size we’ve seen thus far as well.

Ultimately for Boyle he likes the group on defense right now. “I like what we have,” Boyle said, “you want to go into the playoffs playing as well as you can.” And the Rangers appear to be doing just that.

Still, the Blueshirts are a long ways away from the start of the playoffs and the grizzly veteran knows, “timing is everything.”

For more on this story read Brett Crygalis’ story here.

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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