Monday’s on-ice session at Warrior Ice Arena came with a welcomed change for Bruins center Charlie Coyle, who ditched the red non-contact sweater he’s worn throughout camp in favor of a ‘normal’ practice sweater.
“I don’t like that jersey,” Coyle, who is recovering from offseason knee surgeries, said with a grin. “You never want to be the guy out there [where] no one knows how to play you. It’s just awkward, right? You just want to be like everyone else, be on the same level as everyone else, and just play hockey.
“I was happy about it. It’s good mentally, too, just to get out there and do things 100 percent and just be out there with everyone.”
Not only is it good for Coyle’s mental, but it’s also good for the Bruins, who have pegged Coyle as their in-house favorite to center the B’s second line Taylor Hall and Craig Smith on the wings. (Bruins prospect Jack Studnicka has been skating in that spot while Coyle donned his red sweater, and skated there again on Monday.)
But in the now, and with another five preseason games set between now and then start of the regular season, Coyle isn’t focused on his role come Opening Night.
“I’m looking for every opportunity out there as everyone is,” Coyle said. “I want to play the best that I can because I know I’m better [this year] and I want to be better and that’s what the team needs from me.”
And as for being the ‘awkward’ guy in the red to a regular skater, Coyle want to get rid of that with some good old fashioned bumping.
“It’s training camp [and] we’re all fighting for jobs,” Coyle admitted. “You want to play hard against guys. That’s how you get ready for exhibition games and exhibition games get you ready for games, so it’s all steps, right? You want to practice hard to play hard, and that’s what I was always taught and that’s how they do it here. You want guys testing you and pushing, playing the body and playing physical. It helps when you do that in practice because that’s how you get ready for games.
“Once you put on that jersey — that black or white jersey or whatever color it is — you’re full go. It’s free game out there.”
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.