Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 12/09/08 at 04:04 PM ET
Dan Boyle of the San Jose Sharks participated in an NHL tele-conference today.
Q. Your departure from Tampa Bay was probably a little bit unpleasant at the time. Any regrets now?
DAN BOYLE: No, not anymore (laughter). Like you said, ‘at the time.’ I just signed a six-year extension, was planning to be there for a while. But certainly having seen the way some guys have been treated and what’s gone on so far, and the way on top of it I’ve been treated here, I have no regrets whatsoever.
Q. Why is San Jose better than Detroit this season?
DAN BOYLE: Well, I mean, our records are pretty similar. I think we have the edge so far. Honestly, depth I think is probably the biggest key. We have four lines, we have six D. When our top goalie Nabby got hurt, our backup goalie came in and did a great job. We’ve been lucky as far as health-wise, we’ve been pretty injury-free. You know, we’ll see. I mean, it’s a long season. We’ll see what happens. At the end of June, that’s what matters.
Q. There are a lot of Swedish players in Detroit. Which one of those do you value the most?
DAN BOYLE: Which do I value the most?
Q. Which is the best Swedish player in Detroit?
DAN BOYLE: The best Swedish player in Detroit? I mean, wow, Zetterberg I played against during the lockout year. There’s a lot of talk about Holmstrom, what he does in front of the net. I think Zetterberg to me is probably the best Swedish player out there.
Q. You have Douglas Murray with you in San Jose. How is his season so far?
DAN BOYLE: Yeah, Dougie does his job when he goes out there. He’s a big hitter. He’s an intimidating guy out there. He’s been, you know, point-wise not a point guy maybe per se, but certainly maybe as far as the physical play, his defensive play has been great.
Q. Which is the best Swede you have played with and against?
DAN BOYLE: Oh, geez, man, a lot of Swedish questions.
Best Swedish player I’ve ever played with? That’s a very good question. You know what, I mean, I don’t know about on the ice, but off the ice Marcus Nilson is a good friend of mine, who is no longer playing I think in the NHL. He was a good player before he got hurt. Had he not hurt his knees, I think he’d be one of the top guys I played with.
Q. Doug Wilson said this time around he made a point of going out and getting guys who had won a Stanley Cup. You look at the years where San Jose came up short in the playoffs; felt like experience was one of the issues. As one of those guys, what have you done to kind of share what it takes to succeed at that level?
DAN BOYLE: Yeah, I think that’s going—more of it’s going to come when we get to the playoffs. You know, this has been a good team for years now during the regular season, so there’s not really much to say so far because everybody’s getting the job done. I think when we do get to the playoffs, maybe then we can share a little bit of our experiences and what we need to do. For me I think the most important part is just to be calm out there, just to show some poise. If I can be like that out there, hopefully that will reflect on some of the other guys. I think a lot of people panic in the playoffs, and for good reason. But I think you do need to have a calming aspect out there. Hopefully myself, Blake, and Brad Lukowich can bring that in.
Q. You won the Cup with Tampa Bay. How does this team stack up?
DAN BOYLE: You know what, I think this is a deeper team than we were in ‘04. I think depth-wise, this is definitely the best team I’ve been on.
You know, having said that, we’re only a quarter of the way through. We have a long way to go. Playoff hockey, as we all know, is totally different. When it’s all said and done, I’ll be able to look back and maybe make comparisons. But we had a pretty good team in ‘04. We stepped it up to the next level in the playoffs. Until we get there, until we do that with the Sharks, it remains to be seen.
Q. Any part of you, a tiny bit, have satisfaction? You look at the train wreck in Tampa.
DAN BOYLE: I’m only human, right (laughter)? I definitely feel bad for some of the guys I played with. I’m sad for the fans because they had built that organization to what it was. Now to see what’s happening out there, it’s probably more sad than anything for me because I still think it’s a great place to play and it’s very unfortunate that all this stuff is going on.
Q. What were your first impressions of San Jose when you arrived with the team, knowing that they had been eliminated in the conference semis the last three seasons? Did you sense there was a determination there?
DAN BOYLE: Yeah, I mean, I had just signed for six years, so I knew I was going to be somewhere at least for a little while. Certainly didn’t want to be somewhere, stuck somewhere where I was going to be in possibly a losing situation on most nights. So I knew I was coming to a good team. Certainly the talk is getting to the playoffs and getting on to the next round.
Again, we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. But certainly there’s a great mixture of guys here. There are some older guys that have been around. But, I mean, the up-and-coming guys, I mean, some of these 21-year-olds that we have out here are just going to be players to be reckoned with for years to come. Joe Thornton is in the prime of his career. To me he seems like he’s only getting better.
It’s certainly exciting for this year and for the years to come, too.
Q. What impresses you most about coach Todd McLellan?
DAN BOYLE: He’s right on it. He’s on the ball I guess is the expression. You know, we come out here, we practice every day. It’s very crisp, it’s very sharp, it’s to the point. It’s a system where, you know, for me as an offensive defenseman, I can’t complain. He wants the defensemen up in the rush. I certainly love to hear that.
Q. Can you talk a little bit about ice time and how you’re able to sustain your play throughout the course of a game. Are there things you do on the bench to maintain that energy?
DAN BOYLE: You know what, actually this year I’m playing a little bit less than I have in years past, and that’s fine with me. I feel a little bit fresher, you know, down the stretch. Hopefully down the stretch, as far as the season goes, that will be a benefit.
I mean, honestly I go out there every shift as it’s my last. Just go out there, try to make something happen, try to help this team win hockey games. There’s nothing really different that I do from one shift to the next.
Q. Are there any parts of your game you’ve had to adjust now that you’re playing in the Western Conference after having played in the Eastern Conference your entire career?
DAN BOYLE: No. I mean, there’s so much talk about how the Western Conference was going to be more physical, this and that. It’s still early yet, but I haven’t noticed that big of a difference, to be honest with you. I think for me, it’s probably just some names, some players out there I haven’t played against, I just need to recognize who they are. So I may need to ask an older guy what’s going on, what a guy’s tendencies are. That’s maybe the only thing, just the personnel, maybe not knowing guys as much. But as far as the style of play, I don’t notice a difference at all.
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