Charlie Coyle was one of the key pieces in the trade that saw Brent Burns leave the Minnesota Wild, on his way to becoming one of the elite point-scoring defensemen in the NHL.
As a result, it’s quite reasonable to say that Charlie Coyle can be a bit of a target for Minnesota Wild fans. They expect the rewards that the San Jose Sharks are reaping from Brent Burns, albeit from a forward that doesn’t appear to have it in him.
Taking a look at Twitter during the Minnesota Wild’s 4-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers, you see a very clear level of disdain for Charlie Coyle:
This Tweet, of course, doesn’t mention the fact that it was a short-handed odd-man rush. Granted, Charlie Coyle appeared to get tangled up in his own skates, but the whole time he was rushing he was actually proving astute defensively.
Especially on a power-play that can roll out Connor McDavid, you want that puck away from the Minnesota Wild net and in possession of one of your players, not theirs.
Fair to criticise, yes. But fair on this particular play when the team was short-handed and he was about to be back-checked, not so much.
A fairer critique on him was how easily he allowed a Michael Del Zotto of the Vancouver Canucks fore-check him.
On that occasion, it directly led to a goal from the Canucks’ elite rookie Elias Pettersson.
In that scenario, I’m all for criticising him for folding too easily and calling out the fact it was a bad giveaway.
First scenario, granted he’s on the rush and should at least put a shot on net. But, there was more too it, he was being chased down and got muddled with his skating.
Should it happen at the elite level?
Not really. But it did and we deal with that.
The second scenario, with the Minnesota Wild in Vancouver, he needs to use his size to shield that play a lot better. Bigger guys shouldn’t be out-muscled and out-worked in your own defensive zone. That play Charlie Coyle needs to step up on.
Now, just looking at those two plays and with all that said, do we call for Charlie Coyle to be traded just to make the Brent Burns original trade look less lop-sided?
Do we give him more time?
He’s been given a fair bit already; would it change anything?
Or do we continue to use him as a scapegoat when the Minnesota Wild have any sort of failings?
I think it’s fair to consider all three options. If I’m Minnesota Wild General Manager, Paul Fenton; I’m talking with other teams around the league and seeing if they’re keen. Equally, I’m willing to let Bruce Boudreau continue his line-shuffling in the hopes of sparking a fire under Charlie Coyle.
What actually turns out to be the case is anybody’s guess, but it’s always fun to sit back and watch.