Charlie Coyle will have a lot of pressure on his shoulders when the Boston Bruins begin their centennial season.

With the retirements of pivots Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci, the 31-year-old from Weymouth, Mass. will be called upon to relinquish his typical third-line duties to center either the first or second-line.

Coyle will most likely be flanked by newly anointed team captain Brad Marchand and speedy right wing Jake DeBrusk. It’s not a line that is completely foreign to Coyle. He had the opportunity to center the duo last season when Bergeron and Krejci were both out of the lineup last season with injuries.

As much as everyone wants Coyle and Pavel Zacha to be the new Bergeron and Krejci, it’s just not possible. The NHL, never mind the Bruins, will never see another Selke-winning center like Bergeron ever again and that’s okay — Coyle doesn’t need to be Bergeron or Krejci, he just needs to be Coyle.

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His overall numbers are not horrible, but they are however third-line numbers.

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Entering his fifth full season with the Bruins, Coyle is coming off one of the best performances of his career with 16 goals and 29 assists for 45 points over 82 games while averaging 16:59 minutes of ice time and winning 52.6% of the faceoffs he took.

The Bruins are poised to be a team that is hard to play against. They are going to rely heavily on their goaltending and defense. The forwards are going to be expected to play a two-way game which is something Coyle thrived at being on the third line.

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What often gets lost in Coyle’s game because he was rightfully overshadowed by Bergeron and Krejci, is his ability to drain opposing players with the way he controls and protects the puck in all three zones on the ice. Coyle forced 59 turnovers last season.

Being on a line with Marchand, who was part of the 1-2 punch on the penalty kill with Bergeron, should only give Coyle more confidence in his defensive game which should ultimately lead to an increase in offense as well.

The Bruins most certainly will have a lot of questions that need to be addressed heading into the centennial season. Coyle being ready to take on a bigger role shouldn’t be one of them.

Featured image via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images