Boyle needs to make ‘quicker decisions with the puck’: Vigneault

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Dan Boyle will be a healthy scratch for the second time this season when the Rangers host the Capitals. The veteran defenseman will be replaced by big, young Dylan McIlrath.

New York coach Alain Vigneault was asked this morning about his expectations for Boyle.

“I think overall I’m expecting a little quicker decisions with the puck,” said Vigneault. “I think his defensive play has been good. He’s been good in his one-on-one situations. But with the puck, I need a little bit more from Dan. That’s why we brought him here. To help us with that puck movement and on the power play.”

Boyle is 39 years old, one of the oldest players in the NHL.

“As you get older, it’s normal that you might not be as quick as you were before,” said Vigneault, “so you have to adjust parts of your game. I think he realizes that, and he’s trying to take the steps to make some of the adjustments.”

Boyle, a pending unrestricted free agent with a $4.5 million cap hit, has no goals and two assists (both on the power play) in 10 games. His ice time has been reduced by a couple of minutes compared to last season, to just over 18 minutes a game.

Related: Boyle not shocked by healthy scratch