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New York Rangers’ Brian Boyle Knows He Must Step up Play

January 29th, 2013 at 1:49 PM
By PJ Foti

'Blues vs. Rangers-8784.jpg' photo (c) 2011, Sarah Connors - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella has stole headlines this week by saying the balance of his team is a "concern."

The team's third-line center, Brian Boyle, agreed saying the team needs to play like it did in Saturday night's 5-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs to be successful.

The Rangers owned puck possession, and dominated in shots on goal, 42-17.

Although Boyle scored one of New York's five goals Saturday, Tortorella didn't seem overly impressed by how his big center played. He said Boyle played a little bit better, but not well enough for his standards.

Those comments may only add more fuel to Boyle's fire. Boyle has already upped his motivation with the news that the team looked to sign veteran free-agent Jason Arnott. Had he passed his physical, he would've challenged Boyle for ice time.

"I motivate myself at this point," Boyle said after Monday’s practice. "I know what I need to do to be successful and I know how I need to play and I’m starting to get there, the last game was a good one. I’m just going to build off that. I don’t need any threats or anything like that. Whether I get them or not, it’s a different story."

The top line of Marian Gaborik, Brad Richards and Rick Nash, coupled with Staal and Del Zotto on defense, combined for four goals and eight assists Saturday. That unit is expected to stay together, but Tortorella continues to mix and match the other lines looking for a spark.

Boyle's newest linemate, Benn Ferriero — who was recently acquired in a minor league trade from the Pittsburgh Penguins and a former teammate of Boyle's at Boston College — stressed the importance of the other three lines to put the puck in the net.

"To go deep into the playoffs, you need to have a real solid, four-line team," he said.

To be solid on all four lines, the Rangers must continue to have all their forwards work the puck in the offensive zone and get shots on net, as shots on net lead to goals.

"It’s encouraging that we did the things that we were supposed to do and we were more accustomed to doing," Boyle said. "It’ll be more encouraging as we keep going here. We’ve still got to make up some ground."

They hope to start making up ground tonight when they get their second shot at the Philadelphia Flyers.

Tags: Benn Ferriero, Boston College, Brad Richards, Brian Boyle, Hockey, John Tortorella, Marc Staal, Marian Gaborik, Michael Del Zotto, New York, New York Rangers, NHL, Philadelphia Flyers, Rick Nash, Toronto Maple Leafs

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