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Boyes Proving He's No Fluke

Saturday, 11.01.2008 / 5:48 PM / St Louis Blues - Features
By Dan Rosen  - NHL.com
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Boyes Proving He\'s No Fluke
Blues forward Brad Boyes is proving last season's career-high of 43 goals is no fluke (Getty Images).
Brad Boyes knew people outside the St. Louis Blues locker room were asking, "Can he do it again?"

He also understood it to be a fair question.

Boyes scored 43 goals last season, 17 better than his previous career high, a mark he set in 2005-06, and 26 more than he totaled in 2006-07.

"I didn't want to think about it," Boyes told NHL.com.

Instead, the Blues right wing spent the summer asking himself a different question.

"It was what do I have to do to make sure I do it again?" Boyes said. "What did I do last year? What was my mindset? It was play your game, feel good, earn every shift and, when you get a chance, to shoot the puck on net."

Following the same blueprint, Boyes is off to a similarly hot start and is on pace to set another career high in goals. Asking for 50 might be a stretch, but Boyes is on his way to proving 40 was no fluke.

He already has 7 through 9 games this season and the Blues are 5-4 heading into Saturday's game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, who may or may not have Sidney Crosby in the lineup.

"Now we've got a standard for him and it's our job to hold him to that," Blues coach Andy Murray told the Belleville News-Democrat. "It may not be 43 goals on a yearly basis, but he needs to be an offensive producer for us. His shot is so good, and he gets rid of that puck so quick."

More than shooting, Boyes said his positioning was the key to his success last season. A lot of his goals came off passes from Paul Kariya, whose ability to play with the puck allowed Boyes to find his way to the net, where he got a lot of his goals.

"Paul is a great passer, so for me it was just rooting off of him and getting open; he would find me," Boyes said. "If I was in the right spot, it gave me a chance to put the puck on net. A lot of times, the puck had eyes. I just had to get to the net."

Ironically, Boyes hasn't spent too much of his 5-on-5 ice time this season with Kariya. He's been playing with Andy McDonald and Lee Stempniak, but Boyes' production hasn't waned largely because of McDonald (team-high 11 assists), as well as the Blues superb power play.

Entering Friday night's action, the Blues had the top-ranked power play in the League, and they're doing it with 5 forwards on the first unit. Kariya and Stempniak are at the points. Boyes, Keith Tkachuk and McDonald operate down low.

The Blues have scored 31.7-percent of the time on the power play. Thirteen of their 29 goals this season have come with the advantage. Boyes has 3 power-play tallies, but the big surprise is Tkachuk's 8 goals, including 6 on the power play.

"It comes down to shooting," Boyes said. "Both (Kariya and Stempniak) have great shots. They can get the puck through and that's key. Getting the puck and shooting early. Montreal is one of the best teams that does that and so is Detroit. As skilled as (the Red Wings) are, the amount they shoot on the power play is relative to how good they are."

Boyes, though, admitted the Blues are concerned about their lack of 5-on-5 production. Even though they're outscoring the opposition by 5 goals, 15 players currently sport a minus rating, including everyone on the first power-play unit.

Carolina blanked the Blues power play Thursday, and, in turn, won the game, 1-0.

"The biggest thing is we have to score goals, period," Boyes said. "There is always something you want to look at and improve, and for us right now it's 5-on-5. We have to be better at that, but if we win every game by scoring 6 power-play goals and no even strength goals, we'll take that."

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 ANA 48 32 10 6 143 124 70
2 NSH 46 31 10 5 141 107 67
3 STL 46 29 13 4 148 111 62
4 CHI 47 30 15 2 148 108 62
5 WPG 49 26 15 8 138 122 60
6 SJS 48 25 17 6 131 132 56
7 VAN 46 26 17 3 124 118 55
8 CGY 48 26 19 3 140 126 55
9 LAK 47 20 15 12 129 126 52
10 COL 49 20 18 11 128 141 51
11 DAL 47 21 19 7 146 154 49
12 MIN 47 21 20 6 130 138 48
13 ARI 47 16 25 6 108 160 38
14 EDM 48 12 27 9 110 160 33

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
V. Tarasenko 46 24 23 23 47
A. Steen 44 15 25 8 40
K. Shattenkirk 46 8 31 17 39
J. Schwartz 39 16 21 15 37
D. Backes 45 16 17 5 33
J. Lehtera 45 9 21 16 30
T. Oshie 38 13 15 11 28
A. Pietrangelo 46 4 23 0 27
P. Stastny 38 9 16 5 25
P. Berglund 45 6 9 -1 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
B. Elliott 13 5 2 .930 1.86
J. Allen 13 5 2 .900 2.65

 
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