New York Rangers: Dan Boyle Needs To Take A Seat, Become A Black Ace

With Glass Out, An Enforcer Is Needed

Finally, both Henrik Lundqvist and Rick Nash returned to the lineup against the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday. The Rangers lost in overtime, but that’s another story for a different day.

Lundqvist coming back, of course, provides no roster issues. He’s the starting goaltender and the squad will ride or die with The King.

Nash, on the other hand, is a story.

Thanks to the acquisition of Eric Staal from Carolina, Nash’s reinsertion means one of the regulars must turn into a black ace. The candidates are few.

Oscar Linberg? Kevin Hayes? Viktor Stralman? I don’t think so.

It has to be Tanner Glass who sits.

This means Alain Vigneault will be taking out the Rangers only true enforcer. That is, unless, young Dylan McIlrath is in the lineup.

McIlrath is currently out of action, dealing with a knee. He’s expected to be out a few weeks. When he does come back though, Vigneault must see the light of day that he mixes in with this particular lineup so much better than Boyle does.

McIlrath provides that physical presence the blueline desperately lacks. Guys like Keith Yandle, Ryan McDonagh, and even Dan Girardi don’t do a great job at cleaning out the front of Lundqvist’s net.

McIlrath does this so well.

It makes no sense in the world to have both Yandle and Boyle in the same lineup. And with McIlrath in there, that solves the Rangers “enforcer” problem now that Glass will be a permanent fixture up in the Black Aces booth for the playoffs.

Besides, there is literally nobody else on the Rangers team who can do this:

How is that not in the lineup every night when healthy?