Pat Leonard at the Daily News reports on how John Tortorella's decision to move Brian Boyle to the wing against Tampa on Saturday night benefited him and the team.
Here's Boyle on the move…
"It's just a little bit more concentrated on one spot," Boyle said of the wing, where he's played "certain shifts here and there, maybe a game or two" in the past, "but hardly at all." "I'm not saying it's easier. It's tough when a defenseman is breathing down your neck and you're trying to get the puck out (of your own zone). It's pretty much that's your job and you've got to focus on that, and when you get it out of that zone, you go to the next zone, and you go in.
"It's a lot of puck possession and holding onto pucks, all around the ice. As a centerman, you're in the middle, you've got to get rid of it, distribute it. I'm just trying to simplify it, and (Tortorella) is helping me out by putting me on the wing. I can just go straight up and down."
Tortorella feels the move to wing puts Boyle in areas to be more aggressive on the puck.
Leonard also notes that Boyle scoffs at the notion that the head injury he sustained from a Chris Neil hit in last year's playoffs could be affecting his lack of offensive firepower now.
…i was really impressed with Boyle's game Saturday night. If he's not being aggressive and physical Boyle is basically useless out there. When he's effective, he's strong on the forecheck and goes to the net hard.
…one thing that drives me mad about Boyle is his unwillingness to park himself in front of the net. With his large frame he has the ability to cause havoc in front of the net with screens and tips. A perfect example was on Del Zotto's goal against Toronto last week.
…hopefully the move to wing and his play Saturday night will give him confidence going forward. I also wonder how he'll react to the recall of Mashinter, a big physical forward. I hope he steps up to the challenge.