Brian Boyle has come a long way since being acquired by the Rangers in the summer of 2009. He saw his goal total quintuple (yes, that's a word) last season and he also put up 29 more points than he did the previous year. Boyle is no longer a fourth line player, which is evident by the $1.7 million contract he was given in July. But the statsheet is not the only place in which we've seen changes in Boyle's game since coming to New York. He's more physical, he's more capable, and most of all, he's more vocal.
During Monday's preseason game against the Philadelphia Flyers, MSG Network had Boyle mic'd up for all three periods. You learn a lot about a player when you listen to those things and that held true with Boyle the other night. He was constantly communicating with his teammates in order to set-up plays and scoring opportunities, and he was also acting as a leader when giving tips to young guys such as Ryan Bourque.
Communication in sports goes a long way, especially in such a fast-paced sport like hockey, and you can hear the conversations that Boyle has with Brandon Dubinsky and Dan Girardi on how they are going about setting up the cycle and the breakout.
Take a look/listen...
Continue reading after the jump....
Going into the season I saw Brian Boyle as someone who was emerging as a core player on this hockey club. I think after watching this, I'm convinced that he definitely is a core player on this hockey club already.
The constant encouragement and advice he was giving in that video is something you want to see out of all of your players, but unfortunately there are only a select few that actually possess that sort of personality. Boyle is one of those players and it's evident that he is a leader on this team even though he may not wear a letter.
Boyle has been one of the more impressive players in training camp and preseason, picking up a goal and an assist in Monday's 4-3 loss. He's setting himself up for yet another successful season on Broadway this year, and maybe will even be able to surpass his 21 goal total from 2010-11. But even if he's not scoring, he still brings the intangibles to the ice that not every player is capable of doing, and those are the types of players both coaches and fans fall in love with.
It's amazing how much Boyle's role has expanded since being traded here, and I think you have to credit the coaching staff and management for helping him reach his peak here in New York. Boyle is a huge part of this team now and if the Rangers do end up having a strong year this season, you can bank on Boyle being a big part of that.