Boston Bruins 2022-23 Players Grades: Charlie Coyle

Several members of the Boston Bruins headed into the 2022-23 season benefitting from the returns of Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci. Their wingers benefited the most from their returns but so did the rest of the centers on the roster, mainly Charlie Coyle.

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Bergeron and Krejci returning to solidify the top two center spots, allowed Coyle to remain in the spot best for him and the team, the third-line center. He played extremely well in 2021-22 when dropped down from the second line as part of former coach Bruce Cassidy’s line reshuffling after Jan. 1. He continued that play into this past season under Jim Montgomery.

Charlie Coyle’s Strong 2022-23 Regular Season

For the second consecutive season, Coyle showed his durability in the regular season and played in all 82 regular season games, which in this day and age is an impressive feat. He finished the season with 19 goals and 29 assists, which included a plus/minus of plus-29. As has been the case during his time in Boston since being acquired in a trade in February of 2019 from the Minnesota Wild, he won 52% of his faceoffs.

Related: Boston Bruins 2022-23 Player Grades: Charlie McAvoy

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Things were going so well on the third line that Montgomery kept him there in ther regular session in the absence of Bergeron and Krejci. A lot of that had to do with the acquisition of Pavel Zacha from the New Jersey Devils last summer. Coyle was once again effective on the penalty kill and even found himself out in late-game situations on defensive zone draws.

The Bruins’ top-two line was as productive as any top-six in the NHL last season, but when they were healthy, Montgomery dropped Taylor Hall to the third line with Coyle and Trent Frederic and the trio took off. Hall played some of his best hockey as a Bruin and accepted being sent down to the third line without a complaint. That move before Hall’s injury cost nearly the final month and a half of the regular season gave the Bruins depth that they took advantage of. The Bruins acquired Tyler Bertuzzi from the Detroit Red Wings after Hall’s injury and once again, Coyle adjusted to a new linemate at different times and the team benefitted from their success.

Coyle Had a Good Playoff Series

By now you know the story of the Bruins’ 2023 Stanley Cup Playoff series against the Florida Panthers in the first round. Blowing a 3-1 series is devastating, however, it was not for the effort of Coyle who moved up and down the lineup in the absence of Bergeron and Krejci at times. He made the smooth transition to the top line without Bergeron during the first four games at different times.

Charlie Coyle, Boston Bruins
Charlie Coyle, Boston Bruins (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

He finished the series with a goal and an assist, but he ended up being one of the top postseason penalty killers. He averaged 17:20 a night, his highest playoff time on ice since coming over from the Wild, he won 56% of his faceoffs, handed out 20 hits, and had eight blocks. His best game of the series was in Game 3 in a 4-2 Boston victory. He scored his only goal in the series in the second period when he was camped out in front of the net and tipped a Brad Marchand shot past Florida goalie Alex Lyon and he finished the game with five shots on the net. 

Coyle’s Future in Boston

One thing that was made clear by general manager (GM) Don Sweeney at his end-of-the-season media availability after the stunning loss to Florida is that changes are coming before the 2023-24 season gets underway. What some of those changes might be remains to be seen, but one of the GM’s top priority’s this offseason is making trades to create more cap space. Just how he goes about that is the question.

Coyle carries an annual average value (AAV) of $5.25 million, which for a third-line center is rather high. Where he slots into the lineup season if he’s still in Boston depends on the futures of Bergeron and Krejci. In a perfect world for Boston next season, Coyle would still be here and slotting in as the third-line center, which should happen if either Bergeron or Krejci decides to retire. Regardless, the Bruins benefitted from another good season from the Boston native.

Grade: A 

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