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New York Rangers Shift Brian Boyle to Wing to Potentially Get More Offensive Production

February 5th, 2013 at 11:41 AM
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 made a subtle move Saturday, as he's looking to get center Brian Boyle going.

He  decided to move the center to the wing, and he's letting Jeff Halpern center the third line.

The wing is an area of the ice that Boyle is very unfamiliar with, as he said he's never really played the position before.

"It's just a little bit more concentrated on one spot," Boyle said of the wing, where he's played "certain shifts here and there, maybe a game or two" in the past, "but hardly at all." "I'm not saying it's easier. It's tough when a defenseman is breathing down your neck and you're trying to get the puck out (of your own zone). It's pretty much that's your job and you've got to focus on that, and when you get it out of that zone, you go to the next zone, and you go in.

"It's a lot of puck possession and holding onto pucks, all around the ice. As a centerman, you're in the middle, you've got to get rid of it, distribute it. I'm just trying to simplify it, and (Tortorella) is helping me out by putting me on the wing. I can just go straight up and down."

Tortorella said that having Boyle on the wing will allow for him to get the puck in more areas where he could be aggressive with it. He said it also puts him around the puck more.

Torts said he felt Boyle hadn't been around the puck enough to make plays early in the year.

Boyle won't be completely left out of position, however, as he and Halpern have worked out a system on faceoffs. Boyle will take draws on the left side of the rink, his strong side, and Halpern will step in and take the ones on the right.

"Halpern is a utility guy, and his game each game that's come along here, his game's improved," Tortorella said. "His faceoffs are improving. He's skating well. So to be able to bounce him around in a lot of different situations I think eventually is going to be a big plus for us."

This is a move that Boyle hopes springboard his offensive game so he can return to last season's pre-concussion form.
Tags: Brian Boyle, Hockey, Jeff Halpern, John Tortorella, New York, New York Rangers, NHL

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