The injury took place in the club’s season opener against the St. Louis Blues, a game the Blueshirts won thanks in large part to two goals from Rick Nash. It was Boyle’s first regular season game with the Rangers.
The injury came about after he blocked a Jori Lehtera shot at 1:53 of the third period. The Rangers made the appropriate adjustments and played out the rest of the final frame with five defenceman. After the game head coach Alain Vigneault made the announcement that Boyle would be out for several weeks.
This certainly isn’t good news for the Rangers, but it could be argued that losing Boyle this early in the season gives them time to settle things down. Of course, that depends on little things like Boyle not getting injured again and so forth. That’s not exactly a comforting thought and injuries are part of the game. Duh.
So what’s next?
The Rangers will probably look debut Matt Hunwick for Saturday’s game against Columbus. They may also throw another defenceman in the mix, like Conor Allen, and they’ll need to do some juggling in terms of the power play.
Boyle was quarterbacking it as per usual, so they’ll need to find someone else to slot into that unit. That honour may fall to John Moore.
The Rangers acquired Boyle via free agency after he was unable to come to terms with the New York Islanders. He signed a two year contract in July of 2014 and quickly added a veteran presence to the Rangers’ young blueline core.
Now, the Rangers will have to wait to see what sort of impact Boyle can make on this defensive group.