Pre-season Prediction (bold or otherwise)
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10-06-2011, 06:02 AM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Dirty South
I said this until I was blue in the face at the end of last season: Boyle played far more minutes than he ever had before last season. Not just more minutes, but he was playing a harder, tougher game than he ever had before. It's understandable that he would tire down the stretch. Even so, he was able to play effectively in the important defensive roles Torts put him in.
The question for me had always been whether or not Boyle had truly changed his play style, or was simply being pushed by Torts to be more physical. If the latter was the case, then I truly believe that Boyle's devlopment was done. However, what I saw in the preseason was an even stronger, meaner, and more confident Brian Boyle than what we all fell in love with last season. I think he can show us even more this year, and put up even better numbers. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised to see him eventually take Dubi's spot on the Pack Line, if indeed Dubi sticks on the Richards/Gaborik line. That's how much growth I see in his game.
I hope they give Boyle a legit chance to see if he can stick in the Top-6 at some point. At least from what I saw in preseason, it looks like he's improved again over the summer. He's going to the net harder, skating faster, stronger on the boards, and looks to have more of a mean streak than last season. It's amazing to see a player that many considered to be a 1st Round semi-bust finally blooming.
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