The Boston Bruins wrap up their preseason Wednesday night and we will get our first look at Charlie Coyle in game action.
Coyle underwent knee surgery in the offseason and has been making steady progress since. He has yet to play this preseason, but will center the second line when the Bruins host the Washington Capitals at TD Garden.
The lines and defense pairings probably are pretty close to what we’ll see on opening night when Boston hosts the Dallas Stars on Oct. 16, but Bruce Cassidy will be keeping a close eye on how Coyle performs.
“It’s (Coyle’s) first game, that’s the line we had him penciled in for, so let’s see how he does as well,” Cassidy told reporters Wednesday. “He’s got to get through the game healthy so that’s one we’re watching a little closer than others.”
Coyle figures to center that line regularly after David Krejci left Boston to play for his native Czech Republic. There’s been some internal competition for that coveted spot, so it certainly will be interesting to see how Coyle’s knee holds up and how he looks after not playing in a game since June.
Jack Studnicka has been impressing through training camp and in preseason games on the second line in Coyle’s absence. He won’t draw into the lineup Wednesday, but he certainly has made a case to begin the season with the Bruins.
Even though Cassidy will be having a close eye on Coyle, that doesn’t mean he won’t be paying attention to the others on his team.
“We’re getting as close to our lineup as possible, see how the chemistry works,” Cassidy said. “There might be a few switches, obviously, in 10 days. But right now, that’s kind of how we have it set up. Guys do need to play. I don’t think anyone really wants that much time, but who knows? Maybe next Saturday we’ll have appreciated that extra time together. I don’t know.”
While the Bruins do have over a week to finalize their roster, Wednesday will be incredibly important in regards to figuring out who goes where.