He wasn’t on the ice at the time, but quick thinking by Dan Boyle
brought a cheer to the All-Star crowd in Raleigh Saturday night. When Canadiens skater P.K. Subban asked for an idea to get everyone excited, Boyle told the youngster to don a Carolina jersey. He borrowed one off the back of Jeff Skinner and that brought cheers from the local Caniacs.
“He came to the bench and asked for any suggestions,” Boyle recalled. “Being the smart guy that I am, I figured that being in Carolina, (he should) put on a Carolina jersey. I was telling him (to do it) on the last puck maybe. Go do your thing, come back, do a quick change. He threw it on right away. The fans were behind it.”
Team Staal, which had both Boyle and Logan Couture
on the roster, was victorious in the fun-filled event.
“It’s not (important), but we’re still competitive guys,” Boyle said. “It’s not that big of a deal. You still want to come out on top competitively. It was pretty fun.”
When it came to his turn in the shootout, Couture had a little help from his bench.
“I knew the whole way,” Couture said about what he was going to do. “I talked to (Tyler) Seguin a little bit and he’s spent a lot of time with (Tim) Thomas. He said to kind of give him one move and then do what you’ve got to do. That’s what I did, faked the shot and slid it between his pads.”
San Jose’s rookie shook his head a bit when he couldn’t connect on the second chance.
“I’d like to have that second one back,” Couture said. “I kind of got scared. I was going to pull off something a little tricky, but changed my mind at the last second. I wanted to put on a show, but I wanted to score at the same time. So I got down there and just shot it right at him. I wish I could have that one back.”
It begs the question of what would the magical move have been?
“Maybe you’ll see it some day, it’s a work in progress. Maybe both,” Couture said of whether it would debut in a regular season shootout or perhaps a future All-Star affair.
Couture participated in the sharpshooter portion of the program and took down all four targets before his opposition could, providing valuable points for his team. He wasn’t four for four, but it was good enough.
“It was good to win that, I wish I could have had a couple of those back,” Couture said. “The first one went right into the middle of the net. We were cold, we were sitting there for 45 minutes and hadn’t touched a puck. I’m going to blame Dan for a couple of bad passes on the shots that I missed.”
Boyle was a designated passer for many of the shooting drills, but may not have had the safest position as he was off to the side of the net.
“The passing, I’m just glad I didn’t get hit with the ricochet. One game pretty close, it might have been Logan,” Boyle said. “I’m just glad I didn’t get hurt. They were coming in there pretty good.”
Boyle was asked to participate in maybe the most difficult section of the skills competition where he had to saucer pause the puck over a barrier and then thread the needle into mini-goals situation quite a distance away.
“I was the guinea pig,” Boyle pointed out. “I found out maybe five minutes before I went on. When I was out there I didn’t’ get any practice shots. I didn’t even know if I was doing it right. It was tough one, that far, especially that far with the (saucer pass).”
“That was impressive,” Couture said. “For him to be successful was pretty cool.”
On the NHL’s red carpet walk in, Couture heard comments about how Skinner was the better player. Couture simply took them in stride.
“It’s great, if this was in San Jose, I’m sure it would be the same for me,” Couture said of Jeff Skinner’s support. “I love how they support him, he is a great player. He’s a great kid and it’s my first time getting to know him and be around him.”
Boyle’s parents finally arrived Friday after a long travel day due to delays.
“They got in last night about 11:30,” Boyle said. “I spent about an hour with them late last night and some today.”
The NHL All-Star Game does not provide the same intensity of a regular season game, but that is not to say the players won’t be going hard.
“I was there in Montreal and the game started pretty good,” Boyle remembered. “Nobody was trying too hard, but in the third with the game tied, the guys were really pushing it and hopefully we’ll see the same effort.”