3 takeaways as Bruins stay undefeated with 3-1 win over Sharks
It took all of two video games for Charlie Coyle to get slotted from his new submit in Boston’s top-six unit to his standard perch in the midst of the workforce’s third line.
Such a lineup shift wasn’t an indictment on Coyle’s personal physique of labor. Moderately, it was a ensuing domino impact from Matthew Poitras’ robust begin within the NHL ranks, with Jim Montgomery and Boston’s prime brass wanting to see how the 19-year-old would fare subsequent to a confirmed playmaker in Brad Marchand.
It stays to be seen if Poitras will stay in that spot, particularly after a quiet efficiency in opposition to the Sharks on Thursday night (12:18 TOI, 0 pictures on aim).
However no matter Poitras’ place within the lineup — and whether or not or not he sticks within the NHL ranks after his ongoing nine-game trial run — one factor is beginning to turn into abundantly clear.
Because the Bruins proceed to seek for cohesion and chemistry amongst their reworked ahead corps, Montgomery and his workers must maintain Coyle in his standard spot at 3C, particularly if he’s acquired Trent Frederic stapled subsequent to him.
On an evening the place Montgomery was removed from happy along with his workforce’s particulars, he heaped loads of reward on a reworked third line of Coyle, Frederic and James van Riemsdyk for his or her efforts in Boston’s 3-1 win at SAP Middle.
“I believed (Coyle’s line) had an amazing impression,” Montgomery said postgame. “I believed Charlie was dominant, and I believed that his two linemates owned the center, and in entrance of the web and in the midst of the ice. So, I believed that second aim actually, it’s an exclamation mark on what I feel that line might be.”
Montgomery hoped that his newest roster reshuffle would give him a 3rd line able to each possessing the puck within the offensive zone and mucking up the opposition’s assault down the opposite finish of the ice.
Such was the case on Thursday evening.
With Coyle (6-foot-3, 218 kilos), Frederic (6-foot-3, 220 kilos), and van Riemsdyk (6-foot-3, 208 kilos) out on the ice collectively, the Sharks struggled to corral a ahead trio wreaking havoc on the netfront.
van Riemsdyk’s third tally in three video games adopted a system that this line ought to adhere to for nevertheless lengthy they continue to be collectively — with Coyle taking part in keep-away with the biscuit and biking within the offensive zone, and each Frederic and van Riemsdyk parked in Grade-A ice.
“He’s positively a horse within the offensive zone with a puck like that,” van Riemsdyk stated of Coyle’s sport. “He attracts the additional man to him, so there’s a lot of open ice on the market and that’s sort of what occurred on the aim. I feel he had plenty of eyes on him, and we had been capable of finding some gentle ice and get a pair further whacks at it.”
Regardless of having simply 25 % of their face offs set within the offensive zone on Thursday, a van Riemsdyk – Coyle – Frederic grouping firmly tilted the ice in Boston’s favor at any time when they hopped over the boards.
Not solely did their defensive deployments open up extra offensive-zone begins for each Poitras and Pavel Zacha’s traces, however Boston nonetheless held a 10-2 edge in pictures on aim throughout the Coyle line’s 10:21 of 5v5 ice time.
It was a stellar two-way displaying from Coyle again on the third line — a end result that’s been removed from an outlier at any time when he’s skated alongside Frederic.
Frederic could not have the wheels of a Taylor Corridor, nor does he possess the high-end talent discovered by top-six wingers like Marchand or Jake DeBrusk. However Frederic’s personal puck-possession traits, dimension and defensive sport have confirmed to be an ideal match subsequent to Coyle.
Final season, the duo of Coyle and Frederic helped flip Boston’s third line right into a two-way buzzsaw — able to each easing the workload for Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci, whereas additionally touchdown punches within the offensive zone.
In the course of the 649 minutes of 5v5 ice time the place Coyle and Frederic skated collectively in 2022-23, the Bruins outscored groups, 35-18, and held a 154-116 edge in high-danger scoring probabilities.
As for the 420 minutes of 5v5 reps when Coyle skated with out Frederic?
Boston solely outscored opponents, 16-14, and noticed opponents maintain a 94-75 benefit in high-danger scoring probabilities.
Montgomery and Co. nonetheless have loads of work to do in terms of discovering out the place the puzzle items match on an overhauled ahead grouping. A few of that can hinge on Poitras’ skill to bounce again from Thursday’s sleepy displaying.
However no matter the place the items fall within the subsequent few weeks, Boston does have some readability in a single space of the roster.
The Bruins have a dynamic duo entrenched on its third line. And so they shouldn’t break up them up any time quickly.
Join Bruins updates🏒
Get breaking information and evaluation delivered to your inbox throughout hockey season.