Dan Boyle is heating up at the right time for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Coming into Thursday night's home game against the Washington Capitals, the gifted backliner had 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in his last nine games – including a third-period hat trick against the Rangers on Dec. 23 – helping the Bolts come from behind against New York and stay afloat in the Southeast Division.
His play also has kept his team in playoff contention in the Eastern Conference, which shouldn't be overlooked when it comes time to fill out the East's All-Star roster. While the trio of Martin St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier and Brad Richards has led the offensive charge up front for the Bolts, Boyle has done more than his share all year from the backend. He is the team's fourth leading scorer overall and top-producing defenseman. To show you how important his production has been, the Lightning are 6-0 this season when Boyle scores a goal, representing almost one-third of the team's wins.