New York Rangers Defensive Pair Of Keith Yandle and Dan Boyle Should Be Scrapped


So far in the two games that Keith Yandle has been a member of the
New York Rangers, we have seen a fair share of Yandle being paired up with 38 year old, veteran defenseman, Dan Boyle.

Now obviously with Yandle being the Rangers new “toy,” so to speak, after being the major piece in the blockbuster trade at the deadline that sent Yandle from the Arizona Coyotes to the Rangers, head coach Alain Vigneault is going to be prone to experimentation with his new 28 year old defenseman.

This is why I cannot fault him for at least trying a Yandle/Boyle defensive pair, but with that being said, from this point forward I think it would be wise for Vigneault to scrap that experiment.

With the regular season coming to an end very quickly, and with the Rangers’ schedule, in both the rest of the regular season and eventually the playoffs, not getting any easier, Vigneault should look into having Yandle and Boyle permanently split from each other.

When Boyle was signed as an unrestricted free agent this past offseason, many realized that he was acquired to run the Rangers’ power play and be an offensive upgrade over Rangers’ former defenseman, Anton Stralman.  Knowing that signing Boyle over Stralman would sacrifice a little bit of defense, while improving the offense, made a good amount of Rangers’ fans be on board with the offseason move(s).

However, it is very safe to say that Boyle has indeed shown us his vast age this season, by not only looking slow defensively but also not being that much of an offensive upgrade over Stralman.  At least not for the money Boyle is getting paid this season to increase the Rangers’ offensive production from their defensemen.

So now, with Boyle not working out this season for the Rangers, they go out an add another offensive defenseman, with defensive weaknesses, to help with the power play in Yandle.  This move is understandable but pairing the two together at even strength is not.

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The problem at even strength with having Yandle and Boyle as a defensive pair is that is really handcuffs the Rangers defensively when both are on the ice at the same time.  In order for that pair to work, the Rangers would have to pray to always have the puck in the offensive zone when both Yandle and Boyle are on the ice.  Unfortunately though, we all realize that this is highly improbable.

What I ultimately suggest, and what I think Vigneault will eventually settle on, is a 2nd defensive pair of Yandle and Kevin Klein and a 3rd defensive pair of Boyle and
Marc Staal.  This way you have both offensive defensemen paired with defensive defensemen, allowing Yandle and Boyle to take more risks in the offensive zone and feel more comfortable knowing they have a reliable defensive partner to bail them out in case they make a mistake.

However, that is just my opinion and suggestion on what to do with Yandle and Boyle.

What is yours?

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