Brian Boyle has been a blessing on the ice for the Tampa Bay Lightning thus far in the season. He’s on fire. He’s the Boyle-ermaker.
The big man is proving he’s worth every penny of his $2 Million cap hit. It’s still very early in the year, but he’s on pace for the best season of his NHL career. One thing is safe to say, he is beginning the season better than he ever has.
The only comparable starts were his rookie campaign with the Los Angeles Kings in 2007-08 and a few years later with the New York Rangers.
In his rookie season he amassed four goals and one assist in eight games – he had two goals and an assist in his first two games – before being sent back to the Manchester Monarchs of the AHL to close out the season.
Then there was the 2010-11 season with the New York Rangers. It was what everybody was waiting for – the breakout season for the 6’7” former first-rounder. He tallied seven goals in the first 15 games, and finished the year with a career high in goals (21) and assists (14) after suiting up in all 82 games.
His production declined the next season, and the next, and the next. After accumulating 49 points in his last 202 games for the Rangers, they chose not to resign the former Boston College standout.
Enter Tampa Bay
They gave him a chance on a three-year $6 Million contract, and he’s not disappointing anybody. Not only has he recorded five goals and three assists in the first 14 games, he has also been an integral piece of the penalty kill – which was 10th best in the league through the Lightning’s first 13 games. In his 12:13 of average ice-time, 2:02 is on the penalty kill.