Torts blasts stats, praises Boyle

December, 26, 2011
12/26/11
11:20
PM ET
Considering Brian Boyle's courageous shift to close out the second period -- two blocked shots within a matter of seconds -- it was no surprise that coach John Tortorella blasted the league for their faulty statistics post-game.

"The league stats are ridiculous. Brian Boyle probably blocked four or five shots, he's down for one. They shouldn't even give us those sheets," Tortorella said.

Both Boyle and defenseman Anton Stralman were limping toward the Rangers bench as time expired on the middle frame of Monday's 3-0 win over the Islanders. It was a shift indicative of the hulking center's effort throughout the game and the entire season.

"He hasn't gotten many points. That line hasn't gotten many points, but it's been a really good line as far as keeping the puck and forechecking," Tortorella said. "He's played hard. I'm hard on him. There isn't much leeway with him with me. He's done a lot things with the puck in the offensive zone and defended very well."

So well that Tortorella used Boyle's line of Boyle, Brandon Dubinsky and John Mitchell primarily against the Islanders' top line of Matt Moulson, John Tavares and PA Parenteau.

"They just kept them hemmed in," Tortorella said. "He's done some really good things for us."

Boyle wasn't pleased that he came away with only one blocked shot on the stats sheet, but the win was consolation enough.

"That's old news for our team. That's what we do," he said of the shot-blocking effort. "That's a big part of how we defends. We get over there and we block it. That's how we play and everyone buys into that."
Katie Strang covers the NHL for ESPN.com. She is a graduate of Michigan State University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
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