Brian Boyle became a Ranger late last June in exchange for a 2010 3rd rounder in order to replace former 4th line staple Blair Betts. When he first came here, we heard Brian was big, used to be able to score, and didn't fight or hit despite being big. I didn't really have expectations personally for Boyle seeing as he had been a fourth liner with L.A. before and my general expectations with fourth liners are that if they don't get scored on they are doing their job.
It's hard to judge Boyle personally because like I said fourth liners aren't expected to score. But, in general, I thought Boyle did an OK job (not as well as Betts was doing) while being statistically one of if not the worst forward on the roster that played at least 60 games. He's got a one-way contract worth $ 550,000 next season, so I expect him to be back unless some real desperate team in need of a fourth line plugger offers Sather a first rounder for him (sarcasm ladies and gents).
Join me after the jump for specifics (and video for those non-readers).
#22 / Center / New York Rangers
Dec 18, 1984
|2009 - Brian Boyle||71||4||2||6||-6||47||0||0||1||0||73||5.5|
What we liked: Boyle is a big body that can win face-offs and block shots. He had a few scraps over the year and was always willing to defend his teammates - something everyone appreciates. He only had four goals all season, but his first as a Ranger was the game winner against his former team. I would show you that if NHL videos was working for my computer, but instead watch him do something he was better at this year as he takes on Zenon Konopka after a questionable hit:
What we didn't like: He isn't as strong of a Penalty Killer as Betts, something I feel that you hold onto when you find it. At Boston College he put up an average of 0.84 points per game over four seasons and in his first full season in the AHL (07-08) he scored 31 goals for 62 points in 70 games with the Manchester Monarchs. Using League Translations Boyle's average point per game season output should be around 0.35 PPG (28 points a season). For some reason, Boyle's game hasn't transitioned to the NHL whatsoever.
To top it off, he was statistically the worst rated Ranger forward. On a similar note his Corsi and Quality figures indicate that he played against and with below average players and when he was on the ice for his limited fourth line minutes the puck was in the Rangers zone for a good amount of time.
Highlight game: The GWG against L.A. ? Seriously besides fights he didn't do much.
Final Thoughts: I expect Boyle to be back next season. He is heading into the prime of his career statistically so I would like to see him get a shot at 3rd line duties to see if he can put up some numbers. Otherwise, Boyle is a good fourth line center and at 550K not a burden on the cap like a couple other Rangers.
So how do you feel about Boyle? Upgrade or Downgrade over Betts after it's all said and done? Sick of me still complaining about Betts (don't answer that one)? Let's hear it.