Charlie Coyle looking to build on being Bruins' ‘best player' in Game 1

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BRIGHTON, Mass – There really weren’t many positives from a Bruins perspective in the Game 1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, but the play of third line center Charlie Coyle in his B’s playoff debut was certainly one of them.

Coyle didn’t end up on the score sheet in the 4-1 loss, and that was really the only negative for the big-bodied pivot who had plenty of chances while clicking with Marcus Johansson and Danton Heinen on his line. After watching Coyle ring up five shot attempts and a team-high seven hits in 15-plus minutes of ice time, along with a near-miss on a post in the second period, Bruce Cassidy said he was the best player on the ice for the Black and Gold on Thursday night.

“I think Charlie Coyle was very good. He was arguably our best player,” said Cassidy. ‘He had some good looks at the net and battled for pucks.”

It’s not saying too, too much given how bad just about everybody else was, but it’s still something for Coyle to build on after he was just so-so during the regular season after arriving from Minnesota at the NHL trade deadline.

“You want to score and you want to help your team win. You’re getting plenty of chances, so you want to bury them,” said Coyle, who has seven goals and 15 points in 44 playoff games all with the Wild prior to Thursday night’s Game 1. “When you’re getting those chances it means you’re doing the right things, so whoever I’m playing with we need to keep doing that. We just need to hound the puck and eventually, those chances are going to go in for us.

“I just want to do whatever it is that helps us to win no matter what the circumstances. With this team, I want to do every time I put on this jersey. I want to do my best and represent. It’s an awesome privilege to play for this team.”

If Coyle and the Bruins third line can keep it up as they did in Game 1, that bodes well, provided the rest of the team can get its act together Saturday night for an important Game 2.  

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