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mb financial Features

Head To Head: Campbell vs. Boyle

Wednesday, 11.12.2008 / 11:25 AM / Features
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Head To Head: Campbell vs. Boyle
Which defenseman, Dan Boyle or Brian Campbell, do you want quarterbacking your power play?

Tale of the tape

Boyle
DEFENSEMAN
SJS
(#22)
HEIGHT:5'11" WEIGHT: 190
'07-08 Stats:

GAMES: 37
GOALS: 4
ASSISTS: 21
POINTS: 25
CAMPBELL
DEFENSEMAN
CHI (#51)
HEIGHT: 6'0" WEIGHT: 188
'07-08 Stats:

GAMES: 83
GOALS: 8
ASSISTS: 54
POINTS: 62
The San Jose Sharks lost Brian Campbell to free agency this past summer, but they picked up Dan Boyle. So, did they really lose anything?

We're going to let you, our loyal NHL.com readers, decide.

As part of our ongoing Head to Head series, we give you Dan Boyle vs. Brian Campbell. Here are just a few items to consider before going to the polls:

If you're one to judge simply on what they've won, Boyle wins the argument easily. He played a key role for a Stanley Cup championship team (2004 with Tampa Bay), while Campbell's teams have lost twice in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Boyle scored 9 goals, dished out 30 assists and was a plus-23 in 78 games during the 2003-04 regular season. He had 2 goals, 8 assists, 16 penalty minutes and a plus-7 rating in 23 playoff games.

If you're one to judge simply on experience, Boyle wins that argument, too. Entering this season, the 32-year-old had played in 523 NHL regular-season games, including 394 with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Campbell, who won't turn 30 until late May, was a veteran of 411 NHL regular-season games.

Boyle's point production has been better than his competitor. Through the 2007-08 season, Boyle had 292 points on 76 goals and 216 assists. Campbell, who albeit played in 112 fewer games, had 195 points on 35 goals and 160 assists.

Boyle was averaging 0.56 points per game while Campbell was at 0.47. Boyle had 925 shots on goal as opposed to Campbell's 521. Boyle also had a large advantage in power-play goals with 34 to Campbell's 11.

It can be argued that Campbell has been a more effective defender. He entered this season with a plus-2 rating as opposed to Boyle's less-than-appealing minus-42. In Boyle's defense, he was a minus-29 last season when the Lightning had a League-worst 31 wins and were 29th with 267 goals against. Then again, he was a minus-29 in only 37 games.

Their similarities make your choice that much tougher.

Boyle is listed at 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds. Campbell is only an inch taller and 8 pounds heavier. Both started their careers as long-shot candidates to make it to the NHL. Campbell was a sixth-round pick by the Sabres in 1997 and Boyle went undrafted before signing with Florida in the spring of 1998 after four seasons at the University of Miami (Ohio).

It took Boyle until his third professional season to earn full-time NHL employment with the Panthers. Campbell needed three seasons of grooming, mostly spent in the American Hockey League, before the Sabres gave him a hefty workload.

Boyle put together his career year in 2006-07, when he played in all 82 games for Tampa Bay with 20 goals, including 10 on the power play, 43 assists, 62 penalty minutes, a shorthanded goal and 203 shots. All those numbers remain career highs.

Campbell's 2007-08 campaign can be called his best yet. He played in 83 games due to a trade from Buffalo to San Jose at the deadline. He finished with career highs in assists (54), points (62), shots (142), and tied his previous best with 5 power-play goals.

They have each been equally effective in a similar amount of playoff games. Boyle has 22 points in 45 postseason games while Campbell has 20 points in 47 games.

Got all that?

Yes?

Now decide.

E-mail headtohead@nhl.com and tell us your choice and why you chose him.


Author: Dan Rosen | NHL.com Staff Writer