The Playoffs Are A Different Animal
The Rangers just played their 68th game of the season on Saturday. They’re currently 39-22-7 with 85 points, good enough for the No. 2 spot in the Metropolitan Division.
That’s fine and dandy. It’s a solid record and they’re in prime position heading into the stretch run.
However, this is when the real season starts, and it’s time for Vigneault to start understand how different the real season is from the regular season.
The stretch run and the Stanley Cup Playoffs are a different brand of hockey. It’s beyond physical. It’s brutal. It’s so in your face that the officials never know when to call a penalty or not.
The very small and weak Boyle just doesn’t handle this environment very well.
Do you remember the 2015 playoffs as a Rangers fan? When the combo of McDonagh-Girardi was out there on the ice, you felt great. When Staal-Klein was out there, you felt good.
When the duo of Yandle-Boyle was out there, you simply held your breathe and prayed to god you didn’t drop dead of a heart attack.
Of course Klein and Boyle were often flip-flopped with Staal, but many a time Vigneault used the Yandle-Boyle combination. They were so scary on that ice together that is was unreal.
Not only can’t Boyle handle the physicality of the playoffs, Yandle can’t either. This is why it makes no sense to have both of them in the lineup. Yandle, McDonagh and even Klein is a good enough trio to man the power play.
Hell, if McIlrath can’t come back from injury, Brady Skjei has shown enough physicality and wherewithal to play in place of Boyle. The only issue there would be Skjei being lefty.