As Dan Boyle’s hand improves, so will the Rangers power play

Dan Boyle's hand is improving (Neil Miller)

Dan Boyle’s hand is improving (Neil Miller)

The Rangers have 3 power play goals since Dan Boyle has returned to the lineup on November 14th. That’s 1 power play tally for each game he’s played and his shot is nowhere near where it will be when his hand fully recovers.

“It’s better than it was, but it’s still not where I want it to be,” Boyle told The NY Post yesterday. The issue is his right hand, which is his low hand on the stick. For a right-handed shot, that’s where all the power comes from. Dan Boyle admitted that he’s doing things subconsciously to avoid discomfort and pain when he plays. He called it, “the body protecting itself.”

Let’s make this point upfront, the Rangers power play is 3 for 11 since he came back. That’s a 27% effective rate, one that New York isn’t accustomed to. But can it really get better? Absolutely!

Against the Flyers, Boyle was everywhere on the PP. He was high, he was low and moving the puck like a true PP QB, the one thing the Rangers sorely lacked against the Kings in the Final. I imagine a different outcome has the Rangers been able to cash in on just one of the overtime power plays.

Dan Boyle injured in STL 10.9.14 (USAT)

Dan Boyle injured in STL 10.9.14 (USAT)

Against the Flyers, there were at least two glorious one time feeds that he let rip from Steve Mason’s right. If he had that extra zip on the shot, one could’ve easily been a power play goal.

In all, he fired 6 on goal and hit the net with 4. Still, his presence has caused a serious uptick in the offense on the man advantage. Before Boyle returned the Rangers PP was operating at 13% (6 for 45), now its 14 points higher.

Take into account Ryan McDonagh’s absence and you may have an extremely lethal back line on the man advantage. McDonagh is a left handed shot and would compliment Boyle from the opposite side.

When Dan Boyle was acquired, it wasn’t to replace Anton Stralman’s game. They are two different defenseman, as Stralman was a more defensive minded blue liner. No, Boyle was brought here to give the Rangers a legit power play and it is already coming to fruition.

Boyle finished his interview by telling the NY Post, “It’s not where it needs to be, let’s put it that way. I’ve got some room to improve.” The same could be said about an already efficient Rangers man advantage.

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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