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Coyle: May I have some more, please?

As the Wild head into the final game of the very lengthy Canadian road trip, I decided to take a look at the player stats sheet. At the top, there’s a tie with 17 points between Charlie Coyle and Eric Staal. Coyle leads the team in goals with nine. I’ll admit, it’s a little surprising.
Image courtesy of © Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Like some others out there, I’ve been critical of Coyle the past few years. It’s like we’ve been waiting for the “kid” to develop his hockey chops. Sometimes I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I’d like to see more from him.

He’s in his fifth season in the NHL, though his first season he played 37 games in the NHL and 47 in the AHL with the Houston Aeros as a 20-year-old. So alright, he played 70 games the next season for 12 goals and 30 points. The last two years he’s played all 82 in the regular season, but in 2014-15 he only scored 11 goals in that full season. Last year was better, with 21 goals and 21 assists for 42 points.

Now this year, too, he’s at the top of the team stats leaderboard. Granted, it’s not like he’s among the Blackhawks or Penguins, but it’s still worth noting. He’s done a good job so far this season contributing on the scoresheet. A bit of a quiet leader.

So why do I feel so underwhelmed?

He’s a little bit like Granlund in this respect: There are flashes of greatness. Why doesn’t that happen more often? There will be some great, athletic scoring play or a nice pass he makes. Something that makes you say “wow.” That’s what has me wanting more. If you can play like that sometimes, why not most of the time?

The big problem that many have acknowledged with this team is the lack of finishers. The lack of pure goal scorers. Coyle was supposed to be one of these guys, right? Maybe, maybe not. Or maybe he still could turn into something, too. Even though he’s played in the NHL for a few seasons, he’s still a young guy entering what should be the prime of his career. Sometimes that’s forgotten as the fan base gets impatient with the lack of results from the team.

I’m encouraged by Coyle’s season last year and what’s he has done so far in 2016-17. I’d like to see him continue to elevate his game and continue to put points on the board.

There’s another thing that digs at me with Coyle, too. I think I also like to point the finger at him indirectly for the lack of toughness on the Wild squad. This fella is a 6-3, 220-pound hockey player who could stand to capitalize on his size just a bit more. I’m not necessarily referring to fighting. Just a few more aggressive checks once in a while, or this concept of standing up for your teammates after the whistle might be up his alley.

Thank goodness there’s Chris Stewart to help fill that void, I suppose.

I don’t mean to be unfair to Coyle. I’m not trying to be a hater and say he’s just terrible. He isn’t. But again, there’s just something about him that I can’t put my finger on and leaves me wanting more. Maybe it’s being greedy, or maybe it’s just another nice thing we’d like to have in Minnesota sports.

What are your thoughts on Coyle? Am I being too hard on the leading goal scorer?

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11 Comments

Giles Ferrell
Dec 07 2016 11:41 AM

Staal has elevated Coyle's game this year, and it shows in the goal column. But you are right, his game this year still has left more to be desired.

    • hlrule likes this
Brett Marshall
Dec 07 2016 12:43 PM
My dad and I talk about Coyle often and we always talk about how he has the tools and size to be a very David Backes-like player. He just still hasn't fully reached that potential yet. I'm waiting for it. I feel like we're getting really close.
    • hlrule likes this

The Backes comparison would be a good one, because of the size only.  Coyle is faster than he was and has better hands.  However Backes always had the grit, to get the dirty goals and do the things nobody else wanted to do (sometimes fight), hence, his success. 

 

Coyle will never be a david backes.

 

What we could have in Charlie is a 25 a year goal scorer that ends up around 50 points for the next 4 years or so...

 

He's old enough and been around enough to kind of shown us his ceiling.

Brett Marshall
Dec 07 2016 02:03 PM
I mean ideally you'd want him to just become that really solid Power Forward like Backes, Staal, Benn, Getzlaf, etc. Which obviously is a lot to ask cause he may not have as much talent as those guys, but I think there's more there for sure. I said at the beginning of the year that Coyle would eclipse 50 points this year so I agree with you on that
    • hlrule likes this

There's an old adage in hockey that power forwards take longest to develop. I think Coyle is doing fine, usually one of the better forwards (except for those nagging turnovers). 

 

What I like is that most of those goals are coming from right around the net. As he develops more confidence in that part of the game, hanging around the blue paint, the more the goals will follow.

Wild Points/60 Leaders 5 on 5 (200 minutes)

 

1. Zucker 2.73 (15th in NHL)

2. Niederreiter 2.39 (29th in NHL)

3. Coyle 1.82 (85th in NHL)

 

Wild Goals/60 Leaders

 

1. Haula 1.13 (32nd in NHL)

2. Coyle 0.91 (70th in NHL)

3. Pominville 0.82 (95th in NHL)

 

Wild GF% Leaders (Goals for / Goals against)

 

1. Zucker 76.0 (4th in NHL)

2. Niederreiter 75.0 (6th in NHL)

...

12. Coyle 52.0 (tied for 215th in NHL)

 

Wild GF% Relative to Teammates Leaders

 

1. Niederreiter 28.1 (7th in NHL)

2. Zucker 26.3 (13th in NHL)

...

13. Coyle -11.5 (417th in NHL)

 

Wild CF% Leaders (Corsi for / Corsi against)

 

1. Neiderreiter 55.6 (32nd in NHL)

2. Haula 53.2 (109 in NHL)

...

5. Coyle 51.1 (214th in NHL)

 

Wild CF% Relative to Teammates Leaders

 

1. Neiderreiter 8.9 (2nd in NHL)

2. Haula 4.3 (68th in NHL)

...

6. Coyle 2.2 (158th in NHL)

 

 

Wild Points/60 Leaders 5 on 5 (200 minutes)

 

1. Zucker 2.73 (15th in NHL)

2. Niederreiter 2.39 (29th in NHL)

3. Coyle 1.82 (85th in NHL)

 

Wild Goals/60 Leaders

 

1. Haula 1.13 (32nd in NHL)

2. Coyle 0.91 (70th in NHL)

3. Pominville 0.82 (95th in NHL)

 

Wild GF% Leaders (Goals for / Goals against)

 

1. Zucker 76.0 (4th in NHL)

2. Niederreiter 75.0 (6th in NHL)

...

12. Coyle 52.0 (tied for 215th in NHL)

 

Wild GF% Relative to Teammates Leaders

 

1. Niederreiter 28.1 (7th in NHL)

2. Zucker 26.3 (13th in NHL)

...

13. Coyle -11.5 (417th in NHL)

 

Wild CF% Leaders (Corsi for / Corsi against)

 

1. Neiderreiter 55.6 (32nd in NHL)

2. Haula 53.2 (109 in NHL)

...

5. Coyle 51.1 (214th in NHL)

 

Wild CF% Relative to Teammates Leaders

 

1. Neiderreiter 8.9 (2nd in NHL)

2. Haula 4.3 (68th in NHL)

...

6. Coyle 2.2 (158th in NHL)

 

 

Ah...If you like advanced stats, Nino and Zuck are our best young players...

    • Minniman and hlrule like this

 

My dad and I talk about Coyle often and we always talk about how he has the tools and size to be a very David Backes-like player. He just still hasn't fully reached that potential yet. I'm waiting for it. I feel like we're getting really close.

 

I like that comparison with David Backes. And yes, I think he's closer than ever to his potential but isn't there yet.

 

There's an old adage in hockey that power forwards take longest to develop. I think Coyle is doing fine, usually one of the better forwards (except for those nagging turnovers). 

 

What I like is that most of those goals are coming from right around the net. As he develops more confidence in that part of the game, hanging around the blue paint, the more the goals will follow.

 

Very good point about where the goals are coming from. That's definitely good to see. I'm hoping it'll be a floodgates situation for him. All of a sudden, they'll open up.

 

Ah...If you like advanced stats, Nino and Zuck are our best young players...

 

There are other variables, but it looks that way so far this season.

 

It was apparent when I was checking the stats.

 

 

Coyle falls into the same category as many of our young players right now: I hope this isn't their ceiling.  And, while it might not be, I haven't seen much to suggest the ceiling is significantly higher than where they are at present.


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