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Boyle not shocked by healthy scratch: ‘I haven’t played well’

Washington Capitals v New York Rangers - Game Seven

Washington Capitals v New York Rangers - Game Seven

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Several pundits took note earlier this week when news broke that Rangers d-man Dan Boyle -- he of the $4.5M salary -- would be a healthy scratch for Tuesday’s game against Winnipeg.

Boyle, though, saw the move coming.

“I wouldn’t say it was a shock,” Boyle said, per the Bergen Record. “It’s only been three games but I haven’t played well. I’m my own hardest critic. I don’t need anyone to tell me.”

Per the Record, it was Boyle’s first healthy scratch in nearly seven years.

At first, the move seemed to be a combination of multiple factors -- Boyle’s subpar play, the opportunity to rest a 39-year-old, a chance for Dylan McIlrath to make his season debut -- but after hearing both Boyle and head coach Alain Vigneault address it, the scratch sounds like it was mostly, if not totally, about performance.

Vigneault said that going into his second year with the team, Boyle “should understand how we want to play,” adding that “he’s been in the league a long time.”

AV also said Boyle would draw back into the lineup for Thursday’s game against Montreal.