Via Blueshirts United, Brian Boyle answered questions from fans yesterday as a part of an offseason fan interaction promotion. One of the questions asked was about his training with Barbara Underhill, if he would be training with her this summer, and if any Rangers would be training with him. The answer was very positive. Boyle stated that not only would he be continuing his training with the former Olympic skater, but teammates Wojtek Wolski, Michael Del Zotto, and possibly Brandon Prust will be joining him as well.
The news about Wolski and Del Zotto joining Boyle in the skating training is fantastic news. Both Wolski and Del Zotto had underwhelming seasons, which has led to a demotion for Del Zotto and rumors of a buyout for Wolski. Both players are in similar positions as Boyle was at the end of last season, their roster spots in jeopardy barring a significant showing in camp. As for Prust, his roster spot isn’t in doubt, but imagine what he can do if he improved on his skating a bit?
Saying that the training worked for Boyle is a tremendous understatement, as Boyle quadrupled his output offensively and was a force on the ice. He went from borderline 13th forward to core piece on the third line. Del Zotto is a key to the future of the franchise, and if Wolski shows improvement, he may answer the Left Wing Connundrum and provide some support for Marian Gaborik.
*** Additional Note By The Suit: For those of you who are unfamiliar with what power skating coaches teach, a lot of the drills are designed around skating and turning on your edges like inside edge – outside edge crossovers, toe cuts, transitions, etc. The purpose of these drills isn’t just to make you “skate faster,” but to become more explosive while making your stride more balanced and efficient.
As far as Boyle goes, I think his posture was a lot better this past season, as well as his overall technique. His arms didn’t seem to be flailing as much and he looked like he was skating more effortlessly. This is what a power skating coach will teach you.