By Louis “King of Roncesvalles” Pisano
I covered the Toronto Marlies last year for T.O. Sports Magazine, and I watched Darryl Boyce play a lot. He was the only guy in an article I wrote for print that didn’t get called up at one point or another; the ones who did were: Phil Oreskovic, Tim Stapleton, Juri Tlusty, Andre Deveaux, and Anton Stralman. If you want to check out the article: http://www.tosports.ca/?p=3711
He’s a good guy from the East Coast, Summerside PEI, and it seems that he just hasn’t been able to make that jump to the big club, not for a lack of talent, but for space.
If Brian Burke hadn’t picked up Colton Orr, Wayne Primeau, Nikolas Wallin, Victor Stalberg, Christian Hanson, and Tyler Bozak, perhaps Darryl Boyce might have gotten a fair shake and more of a look, or at least a chance in the preseason.
The Leafs are having a hard time keeping the puck out of their net with their defensive zone coverage. They sit near the bottom of the league in both penalty killing and goals against.
Boyce brings a physical game every night and he gets his body in front of shots, which is a rarity for the team on the ice for the Leafs at this point.
His speed is better than average and he is a tenacious forechecker in 5-on-5 and penalty kill situations.
He isn’t scared to drop the gloves and stand up for a teammate, as I have witnessed on a few occasions, and he can put the puck in the net when given the opportunity.
He is excellent in his own zone and understands what is expected of him in whatever the situation may be.
Boyce has an incredible work ethic in practice and is one of the favourites in the dressing room with his great sense of humour and easy going mannerisms.
In my mind Darryl Boyce has all the qualities that would be beneficial to the Leafs and he would bring a few of the things that seem to be lacking. His toughness and work ethic may even rub off on some of the guys who need a kick in the butt. No one likes to be outworked, and with a guy pushing you, you can’t help but step up your game.
Richard Wallin was supposed to be a defensive specialist and hasn’t been much of anything, to be honest. Swap him out for this good Canadian guy who better fits this role.
Bring up Boyce and give the kid his shot! I don’t believe he will disappoint!