Bruins

If Thursday was a sign of things to come, Charlie Coyle is going to transform Boston’s forward corps

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

It takes a certain amount of crazy to willingly skate down into the crease, scratch and claw for premium plot of real estate down low and wait in anticipation (!) for a screaming puck of vulcanized rubber to come sailing toward you. 

Then again, just about every player in the NHL has to be a bit crazy to willingly welcome such punishment on a regular basis. 

But only a choice few in the league can check off all of the boxes that Charlie Coyle did on Thursday night. 

Namely, finding a way to screen a 6-foot-7 body in net in Stars goalie Ben Bishop. 

“You’ve got to still stay there,” the 6-foot-3 Coyle said of his M.O. when tasked with screening a player of Bishop’s stature in the crease. “ That’s where the puck goes and you’ve got to do your part. I don’t know if you’ve got to stand on your tippy-toes or what.”

It might not have been flashy, but Coyle's efforts to shield Bishop from the play developing just a few feet outside of the net proved to be just what Boston needed in that short sequence — as Danton Heinen promptly rifled the puck past Bishop for a power-play tally.

Whereas Coyle largely ingratiated himself to his hometown fanbase this past spring by finding his scoring touch during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, it's the 27-year-old pivot's puck-possession proficiency and overall hockey smarts that should have Boston's coaching staff salivating at what the Weymouth native can bring to this club over a full 82-game slate.

Based on what he showcased during Thursday's season-opening victory over the Stars, perhaps the more valid question is what can't he bring night in and night out? Because you'd be hard-pressed to find an answer there.