No NHL player enjoys being sent down to the AHL, but for Brian Boyle, at least the timing was good. Boyle spent most of December with Manchester, and most of his family is in the Boston area so he got to spend the holiday season with family. Plus, he did well on the ice, with four goals, seven assists, a plus-4 rating and 35 penalty minutes in 13 games. This morning, Boyle talked about his experience in Manchester (including his inflated penalty-minute total) and gives his thoughts on returning.
Question: Did you take some positives out of that stint with Manchester?
BOYLE: “Sure. It was good to be able to play some more minutes and get some power-play and penalty-kil time. I got to play in all situations, so it was good to contribute a little bit more and kind of get the confidence back. With that, everything else comes. You’re more involved and when you feel like you’re doing well and helping out the team, it’s a better feeling. It worked out really well. It was good to be home. I got to go home for a few days during the break and see my family, which was great. It was a great time of the year to be home. My mom was really happy, that’s for sure. It worked out really well. It was beneficial.”
Question: Do you feel like you now have a good understanding of what they want from you here?
BOYLE: “Oh, I did before. I just kind of didn’t want to screw up. I wasn’t even really carrying the puck and trying to make plays. That was something that Terry talked to me about. Coach brought me in his office before I left and talked to me. (He said,) `You haven’t had the puck on your stick very much in the last few games. You’re not really trying to make anything happen.’ That’s kind of what I went down there with the intention of working on. Everything else came pretty much with that. I just tried to make plays and have the puck on my stick and bang a little bit. It was good. I think I understood before, but it was just kind of a confidence thing. Now, hopefully I can build off of what I had going on down in Manch.”
BOYLE: “Well, I got an instigator (penalty) when I got jumped, which was interesting to me. We were getting killed pretty good by Albany and I tried to get something going with one player on their team, but I guess he was hurt, so a guy came off their bench and grabbed me. I was the one who got 17 (penalty minutes) when I got jumped. So it made my stats look bigger, but it’s a little bit misleading.”