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2023 Player Ratings: Charlie Coyle had a solid season, but questions linger

The biggest discrepancy between Reader and Writer comes from the third line center. Was he a dependable option? Or are we looking at the peak?

Florida Panthers v Boston Bruins - Game Five Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Charlie Coyle - C

Writer Rating - 5.8

Reader Rating - 7.3

Man, Look at that reader/writer distance. That’s about the biggest one on our excel spreadsheet.

We’ve been doing this kind of thing for awhile now, so it’s noticeable when the fans and the writers are so at odds with each other on a player.* But where does that kind of thing come from? Where does this dissonance reside? Let’s talk this through by looking at all of what he did this season.

* = this offer void when discussing Tuukka Rask

At Face Value, he had a solid season!

Coyle has rebounded nicely from his nightmarish 2020-21 season, having settled in as third line center and just about beat his personal best in points with the Bruins this year, having a solid year in faceoff-%, as is always important for a center, and led his line in points!

He also spent a lot of time doing the penalty killing dirty work for the Bruins, and was one of a privileged few to play all 82 games and playoff games. It’s hard to say he had anything other than an objectively strong season...

In the regular season.

In the Postseason? He stepped up when it mattered...but then stopped doing that for some reason.

Given the injury list Boston was dealing with coming into Game 1, Coyle showed up in Game 3 ready to play hard, especially given that he was placed into a position of being a top 6 player for the first time in a good while. It worked! He rose to the occasion magnificently given what was on the line!

And then...he became a passenger. In a series that became all about “why can’t you finish these pukes.”

Two points in Seven games isn’t close to good enough for supposedly the best third line in the league. But I imagine we’ve all talked that particular point to death. Which kind of leads us to...

Under The Hood...there’s concerns.

I personally have been beating the drum that a good portion of what made Charlie Coyle and the Third line special this year had him as a distant third on why it was as successful as it was.

I will continue to do so here.

Hall and Frederic were the main drivers of both play on the third line by a considerable margin. Hall drove most of the playmaking, and Freddy did a lot more of the meat and potatoes defensive work that allowed for that playmaking to occur in the first place. Freddy did gave Coyle a lot of credit in giving him valuable pointers and advice in his development, which I think we should appreciate! But where it came down to Charlie Coyle’s effectiveness...there was a clear break.

Sure, Coyle finished the season with more points and we absolutely shouldn’t take that away from him, he lagged far behind in overall impact of the game between the three, and that’s a problem; because they’re gonna need a lot more out of him than they already got from last year. Hell, when Taylor Hall began to struggle in the postseason, Coyle’s ability began to suffer as well, and that’s rough going for a guy who was already having trouble being impactful nightly.

For Coyle, this is one of his best on-ice results of the past couple of years. That’s still gonna need to be better come next season, and that’s what worries us.

Bergy’s gone, Krejci’s gone, and they need Pavel Zacha taking faceoffs with David Pastrnak and either Brad Marchand or JvR. The expectations of a Top 6 player are much different from that of a Third liner, and that could be...troublesome for a player who’s impact has largely been leaning on what his wingers are doing, and what is expected in an already crowded Atlantic Division.

Whatever the case, He’s the #2 center according to the depth chart as of this writing. He’s gonna have to step up and be impactful, or there’s gonna be some really heated conversation on what happens next for Coyle and the Boston Bruins.

And I don’t think anyone wants that right now.