Forward Charlie Coyle is an option to fill the role of second line right wing for the Boston Bruins.
With wingers Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak most likely to miss some time at the beginning of the 2020-21 season, the Boston Bruins will have to shift some forwards around to fill the holes the absence of these two stars create.
One of these options could be to move forward Charlie Coyle from third line center to second line right wing. Coyle has played right wing in his career before and is capable of playing top-six minutes and producing like a top-six forward.
In 2016-17, Coyle registered 56 points (18 goals and 38 assists) and played all 82 games. In 2017-18, Coyle was on pace for 46 points but only was able to play 66 games. This season, Coyle was on pace for 43 points.
Additionally, moving Coyle over to wing wouldn’t hurt the Bruins in the faceoff circle. Coyle isn’t the best at faceoffs — he’s only had a faceoff percentage (FO%) above 50.0 once in his eight-season NHL career.
How would the Boston Bruins lineup look with Charlie Coyle at second line right wing?
With the Bruins having an opening at center with Coyle at wing, this would allow prospect Jack Studnicka to have a spot on the roster. So, the third line would be Anders Bjork at left wing, Studnicka at center, and Ondrej Kase at right wing.
With Marchand and Pastrnak healthy, the first line would be Marchand at left wing, Bergeron at center, and Pastrnak at right wing.
If Coyle is on the second line in this situation, the second line would be DeBrusk at left wing, Bergeron at center, and Coyle at right wing.
With Coyle at wing, things get a bit tricky in the bottom-six as the Bruins are now left with Smith and Kase who should both be playing in the middle-six. However, either one will have to move to left wing or play on the fourth line.
Smith is listed as a center/right wing, however, he isn’t very good in the faceoff circle and is more effective at wing. So, I think Studnicka should also be up in this scenario playing in between Smith on the left and Kase on the right.
This now leaves Ritchie, Bjork, Lindholm, Kuraly, Wagner, McKegg, and Blidh to play on the fourth line. I think the best combination would be Ritchie at left wing, Kuraly/Wagner at center, and Bjork at right wing.
I really think this is an option the Bruins should consider. I feel this gives the Bruins the best chance at rolling out four solid lines, while also having Studnicka at his natural position.
Of course, Coyle doesn’t have to play on the second line, he could play right wing on the third line with Studnicka still playing center. However, I feel Coyle has a style that would mesh well with DeBrusk and Krejci.