|Boyes is the first Blues player to score 40 goals since Scott Young during the 2000-01 season (Getty Images).
The most creative writers of our time might find it difficult to dream up a more perfect chapter in Brad Boyes’ career than the one he’s authoring right now.
In Friday night’s game with Detroit, Boyes netted his 39th and 40th goals of the season, the latter an overtime game-winner to help the Blues to a 4-3 win over the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. The win gave the Blues a 4-4 tie in the season series with Detroit, who leads the league with 51 wins and 109 points.
“It feels pretty good to go with getting a win,” Boyes said about his 40th goal after the game on Friday. “We played with a couple leads, got the overtime win and that was the biggest thing. It was an important goal, too. It couldn’t have been more perfect.”
Perfect is just about the best way to describe his season. The 26-year-old Mississauga, Ontario-native has become the first Blues player to hit the 40-goal milestone since Scott Young did it during the 2000-01 season.
Boyes becomes the 13th player in team history to net 40 goals in a season while wearing a Blues uniform. He joins an elite class of players that includes Brett Hull, Brendan Shanahan, Doug Gilmour, Joe Mullen, Bernie Federko and a few others.
“Some hall-of-famers there,” Boyes said. “They’re great players and it’s great to be included in those names.”
| 40-Goal Milestone |
|Boyes' 40th: VIDEO | AUDIO |
Brad Boyes (2007-08)
Scott Young (00-01)
Brett Hull (88-89, 89-90, 90-91, 91-92, 92-93, 93-94, 95-96, 96-97)
Brendan Shanahan (92-93, 93-94)
Tony McKegney (87-88)
Doug Gilmour (86-87)
Mark Hunter (85-86)
Joe Mullen (83-84, 84-85)
Bernie Federko (83-84)
Wayne Babych (80-81)
Brian Sutter (78-79, 82-83)
Chuck Lefley (75-76)
Garry Unger (72-73)
It was clear Boyes had a scoring touch when he got his first real shot at the NHL with Boston during the 2005-06 season. He finished second in goals scored for the Bruins with 26, just five goals behind friend and linemate Patrice Bergeron, who led the team with 31.
But in 2006-07, Boyes played with linemates that were constantly changing, leading to a setback with just 13 goals in 62 games before his trade to St. Louis.
Since then, he’s flourished.
“The coaching staff and Andy (Murray) have given me a chance to play with good players and I think that’s one of the biggest things,” Boyes said. “To get that chance to prove yourself, you’ve got to take advantage of it and continue playing with good players. You want to earn the ice time you’ve got.”
And it’s safe to say Boyes has earned every minute.
Friday’s game ties him with Ottawa’s Daniel Alfredsson and Tampa Bay’s Vincent Lecavalier for sixth overall in the league in goals. The last Blues player to rank in the Top 10 was Keith Tkachuk in 2003-04 when he tied Colorado’s Joe Sakic for 10th overall with 33.
Brad Boyes (right) celebrates his 40th goal of the season with Eric Brewer after the Mar. 28 game vs. Detroit (Getty Images).
“I’ve been lucky to have been there for most of the season. You see guys there consistently all the time, that’s what you want to do, be in that group of guys that are scoring those goals year after year,” he said. “Now the next step is to continue to do it.”
If a new four-year contract with the team is any indication, the Blues believe he will.
“A lot of his goals are key goals,” said Blues President John Davidson. “We think as an organization that Brad is a quality goal scorer, a quality person and we think there’s upside there. So as we build the team and move forward, he’s a real important part.
“I think he’s got the natural ability that very few players have.”
Boyes insists there’s no hidden secret to having success in the NHL. He says a good season comes with hard work, surrounding yourself with good talent and taking advantage of whatever chances you get.
The thing is, it’s not time to close the book on this chapter just yet. The Blues still have five games remaining on the schedule.
“It’s a big win tonight, it feels good,” Boyes said. “We want a big win against Chicago to feel good tomorrow, too.
“The whole focus is just playing well,” he added. “Next year, it’s about getting into the playoffs.”