NHL’s latest trend — sending messages to veterans via the healthy scratch — extended to New York on Thursday, as the Rangers announced forward Brian Boyle would be one tonight against the Islanders.
“My whole body of work, it hasn’t been there this year — I know I’ve got to be better,” Boyle said upon learning he’d been dropped from the lineup. “”I work as hard as I can every day, but I need to play more desperate.”
The 28-year-old joins a list of recent list of healthy scratches that includes Dustin Penner, Alex Goligoski, Alexei Kovalev, Ryan Whitney, Joe Corvo, Shane O’Brien and Jamie Langenbrunner.
Boyle burst onto Broadway during the 2010-11 campaign, scoring a career-high 21 goals and 35 points while averaging nearly 16 minutes per game. His production dipped in 2011-12 — 11 goals and 26 points — but he still received a healthy amount of ice time.
What’s more, Boyle never missed games.
He played all 82 in each of the last two years and, according to NHL.com’s Dave Lozo, will see his consecutive game streak of 174 come to an end tonight with
The 6-foot-7, 244-pound center owned up to not playing well this year — he has just one point and is minus-3 through nine games — and said he’s part of the reason for New York’s sluggish start.
“I’m just not playing well enough, making mistakes,” Boyle said. “Everybody makes mistakes but I’m not contributing enough or playing to where I can play to.
“It’s not for a lack of effort but there’s no moral victories when you’re 4-5 and I need to have a lot more of an impact.”
In related news, defenseman Dan Girardi will miss his second straight contest on Thursday. The Rangers have him listed as “day-to-day, banged up,” which is pretty scientific.
Captain Ryan Callahan will also make his return after dealing with a shoulder injury.