When the New York Rangers signed defenseman Dan Boyle to a two-year deal, they’re hoping he can do for them what he did with the San Jose Sharks. They want Boyle to create chances from the blue line, generate offense, and quarterback a power play that’s been in desperate need of a guy to do that for a while.
“There’s going to be some pressure, I know,” said Boyle, who had six goals and 18 points with the man-advantage in what he termed a subpar 2013-14 season. “I’m just going to try to help, maybe provide some different looks.”
When you look at the Rangers setup on the power play, you can understand why they believe adding Boyle will help. Ryan McDonagh is an all-world player on the blue line and will get his time there, but after that things got a bit weird.
Dan Girardi was generally paired up with McDonagh at even strength, but it was Brad Richards with him on the power play. Now that he’s in Chicago after being bought out, that opens that spot up. In the playoffs, John Moore played the third-most minutes on the power play followed by Raphael Diaz, Anton Stralman, and Marc Staal.
It’s easy to see how Boyle will fit in there, now it’s just a question if at 38 years old he can still bring it.
Apparently Blue Jackets management is a little shaken by the second 0-3-0 start in franchise history, however.
Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen shared his shock and dismay with the Columbus Post-Dispatch on Tuesday.
“I’m surprised how, in just five days, we’ve gone from a very confident group to something that’s the opposite of that,” Kekalainen told The Dispatch on Tuesday. “Our confidence, our game … it’s off the rails right now.
Maybe losing to the Buffalo Sabres stings a little bit extra?
Kekalainen said “there’s no excuse for how we played in Buffalo,” pointing out that every team in the NHL is a “good team.”
Indeed, just about every squad boasts some dangerous weapons if they catch an opponent sleeping.
The Post-Dispatch goes deeper on Columbus’ recent history of stumbling out of the gate, but consider the foreboding stretch coming up.
Next four games: Three out of four at home Eight games following that: Seven out of eight on the road.
As you can see, winter is coming for Columbus, so they best get things together. All things considered, this is the right time for a wake-up call.
For bonus chuckles, here’s a photo of Kekalainen on a railing.
He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.
Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).
That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out
This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:
With Ovechkin out, Caps lines look like this: