Thursday, September 11, 2008

Dustin Boyd

Dustin Boyd played for Team Canada during one of their last 4 straight World Junior Championship wins, the second one in fact. This team was notable for a few things; one year after the dream team (Getzlaf, Phaneuf, Crosby, Richards etc), they played in Canada, two notable or infamous players were on that team, Steve Downie (who was fantastic) and Luc Bordon (RIP). Note, Andrew Cogliano also played on this team.

Boyd wasn't half bad himself; he scored 3 goals in the round robin (although none in the final 2 playoff games). At the time it seemed he had a bit of a scoring touch, could be a nice little 2nd liner.

Boyd hasn't been great.

There's probably a lot of reasons for his results: Firstly, Keenan has been playing him with just about the worst teammates possible. Not the absolute worst but pretty near the bottom. Secondly, Boyd is just young. He turned 22 in July so it's not really surprising he's unseasoned; Boyd needs time to develop, and he needs decent teammates to do it with.

I think the most interesting thing when you look at Dustin Boyd's desjardins numbers is that his point production is far ahead of where you would expect it to be given his linemates. Now, he doesn't pass Matt's 'line in the sand test' but the only players left on the Flames who did happened to be playing with Jarome Iginla (or happen to be Jarome Iginla).

Now, I'm not necessarily saying Boyd is going to jump out and score 25 goals this year, but prorate his effort last year we get close to 20. The Flames have virtually no scoring depth, so I think it would make sense to at least try playing him on one of the top two lines on a trial basis.

Obviously he's going to need someone on the line who can teach him to play defence, but Boyd still has promise. I think it's time to invest some playing time in him.

Projection: 3rd line
Key Stat: 2nd overall GF/60

Addendum: It's been a couple months since I last read Kent's musing on Boyd but he agrees with me (or I agree with him). Great minds I hope.


Kent W. said...

Great minds indeed.

Boyd is a shining example of how youth has been mishandled on this squad the last few years. When I first saw him as a 20 year-old in pre-season, my impression was he could probably make the team *right now*, in the same fashion that Cogliano and Gagner made the Oilers last year. He would've struggled in many ways, but he also would have gotten that all important experience.

Here we are with him as a 22 year-old and he's still a 5 minute/night defensive liability. He's only played handful of NHL games and he's spent almost zero time with players of any offensive caliber. Imagine how far ahead both Boyd and the organization would be if he'd been given real "at-bats" from the outset?

therealdeal said...

I think Boyd is a great example of why I tend to believe drafting well isn't so much a matter of finding talent as much as it is developing talent.

Kent W. said...

I think both are heavily weighted in the process. Great talents bull-doze their way onto depth charts and are therefore less suscpetible to coaching/organizational foibles (most top 5 picks and guys like Phaneuf, for instance).

In addition, some guys will never amount to much, no matter how much time and money the org pours into them. If Calgary decided they wanted to aggressively develop Kris Chucko in the NHL next year, Im guessing it would be an unpleasant experience for all concerned.

That said, there's doubtlessly a large middle class of prospects that are largely "molded" by the manner in which they are handled by their respective organizations.

therealdeal said...

Couldn't agree more; it's not like Sidney Crosby would have withered and died on Calgary, likewise even Detroit wouldn't be able to ressurect Chucko.

But I would say Boyd falls into the middle category that would be affected.

Kent W. said...