After another week of play, the Boston Bruins currently stand at 4-3-0. The Bruins suffered back to back losses at the hands of Florida and Carolina. In those loses, the Bruins offense looked as though it was being strangled for much of the time. Was this due to Boston’s lack of a true second line centreman? In this Broons Weekly Update, I’ll explore this question, seemingly for the millionth time.

Some Rough Games

Before their meeting with the Panthers in South Florida, the Bruins had bested two other undefeated teams. Granted those were the Sabres and Sharks, teams that many feel are overachieving. Now the Bruins were set to play two undefeated teams in back-to-back nights, and these teams actually had teeth. The Panthers and the Hurricanes are easily favorites to win their respective divisions, these games would serve as a good early test for the Bruins.

And it seems as though this test showed that the Bruins have a lot of work to do. On back-to-back nights, the Bruins’ offense was held to just one goal in their short road trip. It seems as though once this new look Bruins team faced top-tier opponents, they just could not compete. And that’s partly thanks to the age-old anti-Bruins strategy of shutting down Boston’s top line. If you can defend the perfection line, then you can defend all of the Bruins’ offense.

It almost seems like there was a bit of whiplash this past week. In the last Broons weekly update, I was praising the team. I did bring up concerns, but the previous week really made it seem as though those would not be as big of an issue this season. Now though, Boston has played two teams that have the talent, skill, and coaching to actually exploit those weaknesses. And they were apparent in those two games. But do they warrant changes already?

To Coyle or Not To Coyle?

One of the biggest shouting points that Bruins fans had after those back-to-back games were that Boston needs to bring in a true second-line center. Many feel as though Charlie Coyle is just not reliable enough for the job. There weren’t cries to get rid of Coyle entirely, he is a fan-favorite hometown hero after all. But many fans (and analysts) feel as though Coyle is more suited for the 3rd line center role.

The name that came up the most when fans and analysts have been calling for a trade is Sharks center Tomas Hertl. Hertl has proven himself to be a reliable centreman for San Jose and many feel he could continue that trend in Boston. Perhaps people also just like the idea of having a Czech player in the second-line center spot again. The Bruins do have the ability to make a trade for Hertl, but is it worth it?

While the calls to replace Coyle were being made, he was the only Bruin to score a goal in Boston’s road trip. It’s not like that goal was a fluke at all, Coyle (in my opinion) has played very well for Boston on the second line. As typical with the Boston sports media/fans, everyone overreacted to a minor inconvenience. Those games in Florida and Carolina were just two games out of 82. A change is not needed, maybe later in the season but not now.

Give Charlie A Damn Chance!

I really like Charlie Coyle, always have since he was traded to Boston. When he’s healthy he honestly has game-changing potential. Now Coyle is in a position to be game-changing, and I don’t think he’s wasting this opportunity. Just look at last Saturday’s game, Coyle got the Bruins going with an absolute bullet of a goal and then sealed it with a surgical shootout move. This was also against the Panthers, a team that had shut down Boston only a few days ago. Now Coyle and Boston shut down the Panthers’ hopes of starting 10-0-0.

Honestly, I feel like I should start a campaign to make people believe in Charlie Coyle. Maybe I should just go full k-pop stan on Twitter and make fancams of Coyle and just post it on everything I do no matter the context. It doesn’t matter what the tweet is about, I just need to get the good word of Charlie Coyle out there. I mean it could just be something as simple as this. Anything to get people to settle down about already replacing him. Then maybe by the next Broons Weekly Update, I can actually talk about something else!

Hi, I’m RJ Oakley and I’m the Bruins beat writer here at Belly Up Sports. Check back here and follow me on Twitter for news and discussion on the B’s. Be sure to follow Belly Up Hockey as well for all your NHL needs!

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RJ Oakley

Hi I'm RJ from Hartford but I am all about Boston (and sometimes cars that go very fast).

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