By: Andrew Taverna | Follow Me On Twitter @andrewtaverna
The Bruins are currently seven games into their season with a record of 5-1-1. During this opening set of games, the Bruins have largely found their stride. One of the most impressive lines to date has been the 3rd line. That’s right, the Frederic – Coyle – Smith line might not be the “perfection” line, but after just a few games together, they are playing some pretty great hockey. The line combo is becoming dynamic, hard to play against, and most importantly, productive.
Trent Frederic has often been discussed as just not having the “it” factor. Anyone watching him this season might be starting to change their mind. A big-body natural center, playing on the wing, Frederic has begun to find himself a role with the Bruins organization.
In just seven games, Frederic has logged 74:21 in ice time. While he might not be jumping off the screen based on his stat line with 0-1-1, it’s a matter of time until his style of play starts to pay off. His most significant upside this year has been his body and stick position. He continues to find himself in the right spot at the right time and is putting together shift after shift of solid play. With the heavy forecheck of his line, if the Bruins keep this line combo, it’s going to start to click for Frederic offensively as well.
The one and only Charlie Coyle, what can you say? He seems to be off to the impressive start we expected. In just seven games, he leads the team in goals and points with two goals and two assists for a total of four points. His 52.78% faceoff percentage is slightly lower than his counterparts, but Coyle makes up for much of that in his puck possession this season. In 82:24 of ice time, Coyle is coming off with the same confidence and swagger we’ve come to know since he’s joined the Bruins. If the early season indicates how he’ll play this year, let’s hope the Bruins make it to the playoffs, where he typically elevates his game even further.
Craig Smith joined the Bruins this offseason, and many fans felt like Smith was a tremendous addition, but was he going to be enough to sure up the Bruins’ secondary scoring issues? Well, it’s still probably too early to tell, but he indeed has shown flashes of the game he was known to have in Nashville. After missing the first game of the season, Smith has one goal and two assists for a total of three points in just six games.
Not only does Smith come in second in points so far this season, but he’s also leading the team with 18 shots on net. This could end up being a big difference for a team who, at times last year afraid to send the puck to the net.
The Line Combo
Each player seems to be finding their individual rhythm this season. The 19:10 they’ve played together has been even more impressive. With 13 shots for and four against, this line has spent significant time putting pressure on opposing teams. They’ve been dominant in their puck possession game as well. According to Natural Stat Trick, they have a Corsi of 71.88%, which is well above the typical 40-50%. While the possession game has been impressive, the most important stat is the two goals for and zero against they’ve put up while on the ice together. It’s still too early to tell, but this might be the perfect line for this short season.