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02-10-2012, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Kel Varnsen View Post
He's pretty much been our 3rd line center all year and the only problems we're facing right now is whether we'll lead the league in pts or just the east.
a pretty myopic way of looking at what i said. you don't think the fact that we are in 3rd place has anything to do with Boyle does it? To me there are a few huge reasons why this team is in first place, and im going to break them down in order of what I feel is the most impactful.

1)The emergence of Ryan McDonagh. No reason bigger than what this kid has done. Frankly, every day this kid should have a "mancrush" type thread. He's in his first full season as a professional, and he's playing top pairing minutes, and honestly, on most night I truly feel he has outplayed every defenseman we have. I think he may actually be better this year than Staal was last year, which was the best defensive effort i've seen since we had the Leetch-Beuke tandem. Ryan McDonagh is already a star in this's just amazing how frikkin good this kid is. And its not just in the flashy ways. You see him make some outstanding offensive moves, show some skill that he clearly has but has yet to bring every game. Its his game in the defensive zone that is spectacular. Guy blocks as many shots as Girardi, guy skates better than any defenseman we have. His one on one coverage is already bordering on elite. Ryan McDonaghs emergence saved this team, because losing Marc Staal should have been a death blow.

2)Henrik Lundqvist. Henrik has always been a great goalie. This season he's on pace to shatter all of his career numbers. What's better than a great goalie? If he doesn't win the Vezina it will be absolute B.S.

3)Gaborik. Gabby has been a machine on most night. When he isn't scoring, hes backing their D up. When he isn't backing their D up he is backchecking hard. Guy has played every bit as well as I expected him to coming off of last years off year.

4)Dan Girardi. Girardi is down this list because I really feel he was just underappreciated last year...I think he's played about as well as he did last year, but the perceived fact of Staal protecting him, rather than them both being really good, has altered perceptions. He's awesome, he's a keeper.

5)John Tortorella. The coach is awesome, the players believe him, and he gets every ounce of effort and mental fortitude that he can squeeze out of his team.

Those are the reasons we are in first place imho. Brian Boyle isn't the problem, the problem is we don't have adequate talent to properly divide the ice time. I also don't think Brian Boyle is nearly as good defensively as people make him out to be. He's good, he's not elite.

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