Sharks Spotlight: Dan Boyle


Sharks Spotlight: Dan Boyle

Editor's note: Over the next month, Sharks Insider Kevin Kurz and Postgame Live reporter Brodie Brazil will evaluate the 2011-12 performance of each player on the roster. One breakdown will occur every weekday in numerical order.

Sharks spotlight -- the seriesSharks spotlight: Dan BoyleAge: 35 DIn his fourth season with the Sharks, defenseman Dan Boylehad nine goals and 39 assists for 48 points and 57 penalty minutes. He waseighth in the league in scoring among defensemen, and second in shots (252).Boyle led the Sharks in ice time, at more than 25 minutes per game. In fiveplayoff games, Boyle was scoreless with two assists and two penalty minutes.Kurz says: Boyle may be on the down slope of his career, buthe was still arguably the Sharks best defenseman again this season. It was aninauspicious start for the veteran this year, when he struggled mightily forthe first month-and-a-half, but he later revealed he was playing through abroken foot. After recovering, Boyle regained his foot speed and skatingability and resembled the player Sharks fans were used to seeing since he wasacquired from Tampa Bay before the 2008-09 season. Boyle is still a key memberon the Sharks power play, too, finishing with 17 points on that second-rankedunit.SLIDESHOW: Grading the Sharks
Brodie says: Throughthe first 27 games of the season, Boyle had only a single goal. At one point, I even found him shortening allof his sticks an inch, because he had unknowingly been playing with a newerbatch that was mistakenly longer. Thatcould have been what was ailing Boyle or maybe, it was his broken foot!! Yeah, Boyle played through that broken foot for asignificant early portion of the season.I dont think he intended to ever let the information go public, butaccidentally let it slip on a postgame radio interview with Jamie Baker. The bottom line, it goes to show that forsomething you know, there is always something else you may not.Boyle was a longtime partner with Douglas Murray in the lastfew seasons but skated alongside Marc Edouard Vlasic from mid-December throughthe rest of the campaign. No doubt this was San Joses top defensive pair whenthe season mattered most: Boyle with the offensive mindset, and Vlasic enjoyingone of his best defensive seasons yet. 2012-13 expectationsKurz says: Boyle is one of several players considered to bein the Sharks aging core group, and may also be the most tradable. Accordingto, Boyle has a limited no-trade clause that expires on July 1,when he can name 10 teams that he would not play for. While Boyle would bringback a decent return, as defensemen of his caliber and skill set are hard tofind and there is a limited free agent market, losing him would leave a gapinghole on the San Jose blue line.If Boyle returns, he should still have plenty of gas left inthe tank to be an effective player for at least another couple seasons. If hedoesnt, the Sharks had better find a top-notch talent to replace him, as theydont have the body or bodies to fill that void internally.RELATED: Boyle stats splits game logs
Brodie says: Boyle will be 36 when next season starts,and although there is an inevitable decline in potential with age: I just dontthink he is there yet. Boyle may not bethe fastest skater or have the strongest blast from the point, but counters itby playing a smart and responsible game.The one concern regarding Boyle, might be his minutes. Last season he again led San Jose, and was 7thamong ALL NHL players at 25:34 TOIgame.That is 2:25 more than the next closest teammate (Vlasic). The Sharks certainly benefited from Danscontributions and often needed him for large portions of games. It is not at all to suggest 1-2 minutes beshaved off that average as a demotion.Instead, a curiosity if you would actually get even more from Boyle inthe long term by keeping him just slightly fresher. On a personal note, Dan is one of the best sources when I amtrying to get a feel of the player perspective on topics. Sharks fans that watch enough interviews knowthat Boyle is refreshingly open and honest in front of a microphone. As a Stanley Cup winner and Olympic Goldmedalist, he has credentials that come with great insights: and is one ofseveral Sharks I could consider for best interview on the team. Up next: Michal Handzus

In push for playoffs, LA Kings acquire goalie Bishop from Tampa Bay

In push for playoffs, LA Kings acquire goalie Bishop from Tampa Bay

The Los Angeles Kings have acquired goaltender Ben Bishop in a trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Los Angeles sent Peter Budaj, defensive prospect Erik Cernak, a 2017 seventh-round pick and a conditional pick to Tampa Bay for Bishop and a 2017 fifth-round pick.

Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman announced the trade Sunday night, less than four days before the trade deadline.

Bishop, a pending unrestricted free agent, helped the Lightning reach the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. The Kings now have Bishop and 2012 and 2014 Cup winner Jonathan Quick, who returned Saturday from a long-term lower-body injury that had sidelined him since October.

The 6-foot-7 Bishop, 30, is 16-12-3 with a 2.55 goals-against average and .911 save percentage.

Three takeaways: Sharks stand up for Karlsson; avoiding the mumps

Three takeaways: Sharks stand up for Karlsson; avoiding the mumps

VANCOUVER – It was a successful first game coming out of the bye week for the Sharks, as they won going away against the Canucks at Rogers Arena on Saturday, 4-1. Here are our three takeaways from the evening in British Columbia…

1 – Slow start, strong finish

The league-wide trend of starting slow coming out of the NHL’s newly instituted bye week was on display in the first period, as the Sharks and Canucks played one of the uglier frames of NHL hockey you’ll ever see. San Jose was on its heels early, surrendering the first six shots of the game and looking particularly confused. They didn’t register a single hit in the period, either, which is hard to do.

The Sharks were lucky that Vancouver wasn’t much better, and that Martin Jones – whose performance we focused on in primary the game recap – was looking sharp and well rested.

The message after the scoreless first period, according to coach Pete DeBoer, was just to “try and get better.” That’s what happened.

“We knew it would be a little messy, and it was,” DeBoer said. “Jonesy thankfully was our best player, and gave us a chance to get our legs under us. I thought as the game wore on we got better and better. It wasn’t a pretty win, by any means.”

Chris Tierney said: “After the first 10 minutes [we] started to feel good and then kind of felt back to normal in the second there. It definitely took a little bit. Joner bailed us out in the beginning a couple times. I thought we started to get going in the second and third.”

2 – Standing up for Karlsson

Melker Karlsson was lucky to return in the third period after he took a heavy hit from Joseph Labate. Karlsson had to be helped to the dressing room after the blow, when his head violently snapped back as Labate ran him into the boards in front of the bench.

Micheal Haley pounced on Labate immediately after the incident, earning a two-minute minor that the team was probably happy to kill off. Labate, to his credit, answered the bell in the third period when he was challenged by and fought Brenden Dillon. The Sharks will face the Canucks three more times this season, including on Thursday, so a response to the hit was particularly necessary even if it was clean.

“That sends a good message to the team that everybody has each other’s back,” Mikkel Boedker said of Haley and Dillon’s efforts. “Those guys are real standup guys, and they’ve done it so many times. Every time they do it, it means something special to all of us.”

DeBoer said: “That’s a huge part of our team and our team identity. We’ve got a group that you’re not going to be able to push to of games, and I think we’ve shown that over the last two years here. You don’t even have to say anything, that’s just automatic.”

3 – Avoiding the mumps

Some eyebrows were raised in the press box midway through the game when the Canucks tweeted that defenseman Luca Sbisa would not return with the stomach flu. That’s one of the early warning signs of the mumps, meaning Sbisa could have exposed some Sharks to the virus, which is making its way through the Vancouver dressing room.

“What are you going to do? We’ve just got to cross our fingers and get outta here and hope that he didn’t rub up against anybody,” DeBoer said.

The Sharks coach said after the game that he thought “most of our guys” have had vaccinations, but “I believe there’s a couple that haven’t.”

After the virus invaded several NHL dressing rooms two seasons ago, the Sharks’ training staff will likely be on the lookout for symptoms when the team reconvenes on Monday. Hopefully, the outbreak will begin and end in Vancouver this time.

“Definitely, you want to make sure that you stay away from all that stuff,” Boedker said.