Brian Boyle Is Headed To The NHL All Star Game, Which Is Absolutely Awesome News For All But One Reason
Full disclosure, while I always thought Brian Boyle returning to a city that truly appreciates him as both a first time All Star and a source of inspiration during what's been one of the most productive seasons of his career would make for more than a handful of feel-good moments, I would have preferred they not come at the expense of Taylor Hall's health. Like, if I had choose between the Devils' MVP sitting in a luxury suite during the most trying stretch of their season and their 4th line center resting at home during a celebratory weekend of the league's best, I think I'd be begrudgingly inclined to take the latter.
That being said, shit happens throughout the course of 82 games, and what's been an absolute skid mark of a streak has at least been put through the rinse cycle by Brian Boyle's upcoming presence at All Star weekend. I know he's just there to represent a team that would otherwise be unspoken for as its most deserving player either couldn't participate or didn't think it was worth it to compromise his healing process with his first ever postseason berth being a realistic possibility. However, he's also there as an indisputable model for leadership, determination, perseverance, and - as dramatic as it reads - survival.
Brian Boyle's play, in and of itself, has been an absolute revelation for a young team whose spot in the standings has been buoyed by epiphanic performances. But it's what he's provided to a locker room that only he - with his unwavering optimism - could have imagined he would spend this much time in after that crushing news broke on that late September day that is truly worthy of All Star status. Watching him receive thee most heartfelt round of applause upon taking the the ice in Tampa Bay will be an objectively tear-jerking moment, and that's great news seeing as the sobbing of Devils' fans has been of a much different variety as of late.