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01-12-2013, 10:07 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Texas
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Originally Posted by Tawnos View Post
He was mostly used as a 3rd line center last year. What planet are YOU on? Not only is that how I remember the season, in which I watched every game, but the stats bear me out there. Boyle played the 3rd most ES minutes per game of all the centers who actually played center most of the year (as opposed to Anisimov and Dubinsky, who are listed as centers but spent much of the year on the wing).

Look, the real truth here is that Tortorella loves the guy and he's going to get 3rd line minutes more often than not. I'm not happy, nor unhappy with that. It's just the way it is. I just want us to bring in someone else who can fill a similar 3rd/4th tweener center role and share it with Boyle so we can have some versatility in the lineup. Someone like Dom Moore (if he wants to play). Either that or bring in a potential upgrade like Jason Arnott or Daymond Langkow. If they don't work out over the course of the short season, oh well. Boyle can still fill the role to an extent.
You're right, he played a lot of minutes last season. I shouldn't have called him a fourth line center; he was his own unique floating part to the team, but who were his linemates? Fourth liners. They got a steady shift because they were great at shutdowning opponents and, as you say, Torts loves him, but he also augmented his minutes with tons of PK and even some PP time. It still stands that your expectations of what constitutes a third liner are not in line with the reality of third liners throughout the league, elite, exceptional ones not withstanding. Would it be great to have an ELITE third line center? Sure, but we have four stud d-men, the best goalie in the world, two elite wingers and a top center; it's not a luxury we can realistically afford. Maybe Miller will give it to us in a couple of years. For now, Boyle is, in every way, an AVERAGE third line center. He played third line minutes last year but with fourth line talent on his wings. He will play the same minutes this year but with better talent (Pyatt + Hags/Kreids/Cally) and his numbers should improve a bit. He is very good for a third line center though. His line will be used as a shutdown line, like it was last year and he's great at that. They will contribute some offense; more than the Feds/Prust line did, and they will be very responsible defensively and keep the puck out of our end a lot. You really can't ask for a lot more from the third line and Pyatt and Boyle are the EPITOMY of NHL third liners. Not the cream of the crop for third liners, but HARDLY subpar. They are literally what should come to mind when someone says "average third liners". People love to say that Hagelin and Dubinsky are third liners but that's simply not the truth. They are players who will EXCEL in a third line role because their skill set matches what's expected of a third liner perfectly, but their talent exceeds that of a normal third liner and most teams cannot afford to play them outside of their top six because they aren't deep enough. Only in the most ideal of situations on a very deep team where key players are on ELCs and you're not skimping on your defense/goalie can a team play guys like that on third line consistently. The truth of the matter is, they're just really not third liners. They're two-way second liners who substitute some of the offense of an ideal second liner for better grit and two-way play.

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