Like H.R. and Bad Brains, the Bruins’ third line with Charlie Coyle between Trent Frederic and Craig Smith has that PMA.
One of the brightest spots among the team’s continued second-half push, a Saturday showdown with the Coyotes came with another strong outing, with Smith and Coyle accounting for all three of Boston’s goals in a 3-2 final.
“We’re always positive with each other,” Coyle, who has four goals and 12 points in his last 14 games, said of the line’s recent success. “We don’t harp on each other. We’re always there and support each other, whether it’s on the ice or off the ice talking, and we’re always looking to improve. That’s what you need. Everyone’s doing their job. You do that consistently, you do it the right way, then good things are gong to happen for you, and they’re starting to fall for us.”
(Click here to subscribe to the Sports Hub Underground podcast.)
The Bruins are beginning to reap the rewards of that support and communication. The B’s second goal, which saw Coyle drag three Arizona skaters his way before a feed to Smith for a prime-area look and goal, was a perfect example of that.
“We get comfortable with each other, then you talk more, and then you can read off each other a little more,” Coyle noted. “Then you get rewarded a little bit and you start to gain confidence and make plays.”
This line has become a grind line of sorts for the Bruins, too, with all three forwards looking more than capable of making possession plays, winning their battles along the boards, and providing an energy that’s just straight-up brutal on the opposition’s legs and lungs after a few shifts.
“I think they’re playing to the identity of how they would need to play to score on a regular basis,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said after the victory. “Typically they’re playing behind the defense, winning pucks, getting pucks back, good forechecks, in sync together in the offensive zone with their spacing. So, they’re scoring a lot of goals like that.
“And away from the puck, I think they’ve been very reliable with their board work.”
That’s been a sneaky-big key for the Bruins with this line, too. With the Hall-Haula-Pastrnak expected to eat up a good chunk of offensive-zone starts, and with The Bergeron Line always positioned to get theirs, the Bruins want to turn this Frederic-Coyle-Smith line into one that can thrown over the boards in any situation and any zone.
“I think we’re staying close,” Smith, who has notched seven goals in his last five games, said. “We’re creating turnovers. We created some good energy for the bench, especially, and I think that carries on from line-to-line.”
Here are some other thoughts and notes from a 3-2 win over the ‘Yotes…