To call Dan Boyle’s brief time as a Ranger disappointing would be an understatement — just ask the man himself.
“I think statistically it’s been absolutely horrific,” Boyle said, per NHL.com. “I’ve never been in this kind of statistic funk. I don’t think I’ve been playing as bad as what my statistics may suggest.
“That being said, when you’re an offensive defenseman people are going to look at that and obviously that’s not where it needs to be.”
In 15 games played, Boyle has just two goals and no assists. His possession metrics (51 percent Corsi For, 52. 5 percent Fenwick) are decent but his overall shot total — just 25 on the season — has been problematic, especially since he was brought on board in part to anchor the Rangers’ power play (Boyle leads all Rangers in average PP TOI pert game, at 3:16).
To be fair, several things have conspired against Boyle. He’s in a new environment, having returned to the Eastern Conference after spending the previous six seasons in San Jose. Boyle also broke his hand in New York’s season-opener against the Blues — sidelining him for 17 games — then fell victim to illness (he was tested for the mumps, which came back negative).
It’s also probably worth mentioning Boyle turns 39 next year and, barring another health setback, will play in his 1,000th NHL contest. That’s a lot from a guy who’s had injury issues over the last few seasons, including a concussion last October on a hit from St. Louis forward Maxim Lapierre.
Still, the Rangers have to be optimistic about their immediate future with Boyle. His production and play can really only go up from here, and the Blueshirts have done well without his impact — they’ve won six straight and are holding onto the final wild card spot heading into tonight’s game against Washington. With a win, the Rangers could draw even with the Caps for third in the Metropolitan Division.