Monday, April 19, 2010

Dan Boyle: Stand Up Guy

By now, you've probably seen the incredible gaffe by San Jose defenseman Dan Boyle in Sunday's overtime loss to Colorado.

Boyle's own-goal (though it appears to have hit the stick of Colorado's Ryan O'Reilly after Boyle tried to whack the puck around the wall) gave Colorado an improbable 1-0 win, despite San Jose outshooting the hosts 51-17 (43-8 after the first period).

In a situation where most of the world's population would find a cozy rock to hide under for about a week, Boyle sat at his locker and faced the media like a man after the game.

The goal, with a brief replay, starts out this video, with audio from CBC's Mark Lee, who was as incredulous as the rest of us were. Then it cuts to Boyle's postgame comments.

I already felt sorry for Boyle. The fact that he sat there and took the bullet like he did afterward only makes me respect him more.

Boyle is a leader on this team, so his ability to bounce back will be important. He should also be able to expect some support from his teammates, especially captain Rob Blake, who surely has seen some goofy-ass bounces in his day. In fact, a puck off Blake's skate in the final minute Wednesday night gave Colorado a 2-1 win in the series opener.

That means San Jose has lost two games -- basically -- on own goals. It has to be demoralizing, but this is not the same Sharks team we saw last year against Anaheim. They've outshot Colorado 129-69 in the series, scored six goals in Friday's Game 2, and are clearly a superior group, as opposed to the team that was horribly outplayed by Anaheim in the first round a year ago.

Now, their resiliency will be tested like never before.

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