The Boston Bruins rebounded Friday night against the Buffalo Sabres and defeated them by a final score of 4-1.
Linus Ullmark was the primary reason for the win, as he was fantastic against his former team. However, another major positive from the tilt was that Charlie Coyle was able to get on the scoresheet. He failed to do so in the team’s first two games, but boy, did he make up for it in Buffalo. On the night, he recorded a goal and two assists.
Every Bruin fans knows that this is an immensely important season for Coyle. With David Krejci deciding to go back home and sign in the Czech Republic, Coyle is now the team’s second line center. He has big skates to fill, as Krejci was such an integral part of the Bruins’ lineup for over a decade. Last game provided a glimmer of hope that Coyle can take over the role well.
Now, Sunday afternoon, the Bruins will be battling the undefeated San Jose Sharks. It will be fascinating to see how Coyle responds to his very solid showing. It’s fair to assume that not many hockey fans expected the Sharks to start the season this strongly, so the B’s will need all of their key players to play well. Thus, it would be marvelous to see Coyle specifically get back on the scoresheet.
Coyle is coming off of a season where he struggled to be an offensive threat on a consistent basis. In 51 games, he scored six goals and recorded 16 points. He certainly is capable of producing more this go-around, as just the season before, he had 16 goals and 37 points in 70 games. This was while playing on the Bruins’ third line. Now, he holds a bigger role and has the privilege of playing with Taylor Hall and Craig Smith – once the latter gets healthy again, of course. All of this should be enough for him to have a bounce back campaign, in my honest opinion.
If Coyle can be an offensive factor in back-to-back matchups, it will certainly help provide Bruin fans with a bit more optimism towards him manning the role. There’s no denying that his game against the Sabres was very good and when it came to offense, he was a significant reason why they went on to win.
The lines for Sunday’s game haven’t been officially announced by Bruce Cassidy at this juncture. Yet, it would not be surprising to see Tomas Nosek get another look at second line right wing, especially if Smith is out. It seems rather probable that Smith will be, as the team not only called up Jack Studnicka, but also Oskar Steen. However, there’s also the possibility that Coyle gets swapped to right wing and Studnicka takes over as second line center.
Alas, we will have to wait and see who will be on Coyle’s line. Regardless of who it is, do not be surprised if Coyle gets another point or two. Here’s to hoping it’s the beginning of a nice hot streak for him.