Thursday night against the Edmonton Oilers, Brian Boyle scored his first goal of the season and his very first as a New Jersey Devil. But there was a much deeper significance.
In September, Boyle was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia, a treatable type of bone-marrow cancer. Boyle missed the first month of the season, but finally made his debut in the Devils’ lineup at the start of November.
Five games after returning from the biggest scare of his life, Boyle scored on a rebound and admitted to crying after the goal.
— NHL (@NHL) November 10, 2017
Boyle’s goal occurred 5:33 into the first period and it gave the Devils an early 1-0 lead. To celebrate, he went down to one knee and passionately pumped his first. His teammates mobbed him against the corner boards.
“I’ve never cried after a goal before,” Boyle said during the intermission interview. “That was, it’s a lot. It’s everything… These guys, my wife, my kids, they’ve been through a lot too. My parents, my siblings. It’s a good feeling. Let’s hope we stand up and make it count tonight.”
Brian Boyle admits he cried after scoring first goal since returning from chronic myeloid leukemia. Pretty special. pic.twitter.com/4J4Py8SABt
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) November 10, 2017
The 32-year-old center signed a two-year, $5.1 million deal with New Jersey over the offseason, but the leukemia diagnosis derailed any sense of normalcy to the season.
“I don’t like missing games. I feel as close to normal as you can feel,” Boyle said to ESPN at the time.
Boyle’s father Arthur beat cancer twice. Now his son is well on his way to doing the same himself.
— Ilene Braunstein (@Ilene908) November 10, 2017
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