David Pastrnak is Key For the Boston Bruins’ 2017 Playoff Run
The Boston Bruins Have a Few Players to Thank For Their Strong Play But David Pastrnak Stands Out Among the Rest. Pastrnak Has Been a Huge Stand Out For the Bruins For a Lot of Reasons.
Drafted 25th overall in the 1st round of the 2014-15 NHL Entry Draft, David Pastrnak was always viewed as someone who would come in and make a huge impact for the Boston Bruins. After spending 25 games of his first season in the AHL, Pastrnak finished the year in Boston, playing in 46 games and tallying 10 goals and 17 assists.
51 games in 2015-2016 saw him net 15 goals and pick up 11 assists, a season which included a tough stint on the injured reserve list due to a “small, non-displaced crack in foot.” Spending time on the injured reserve and continuing to play bottom-six minutes never discouraged the young winger, who still put up impressive statistics that season, including from a possession metric standpoint. His Corsi For for the year was 51.9%.
Breakout Season for David Pastrnak
As the 2016-2017 season began, it was clear that David Pastrnak was ready for the top-six level of minutes and thrived almost immediately in his bigger role. Currently, “Pasta” as he is known among Bruins fans, plays on a fantastic second line with fellow winger Drew Stafford and center David Krejci. It’s a very important line, one that baffles defenses just as much as the Brad Marchand top-line does.
Throughout the season, the young Czech has shown everyone what a steal he was at the 25th spot nearly three years ago. In 62 games, Pastrnak has 30 goals and 32 assists, totaling 62 points. He’s averaging just shy of a point a game (0.97 to be exact) and gives the Boston Bruins a vital 18 minutes per game.
He’s a wonderful even strength player, scoring 20 of his goals in 5-on-5 situations and his individual puck possession is one of the best in the NHL. His Corsi For currently sits at 57.9%, putting him sixth in the NHL among skaters with more than 300 minutes of ice time.
Consistent and Clutch
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He is starting to show a high level of consistency night in and night out. As of this writing, David Pastrnak is on a 10-game point streak, one that includes five goals and nine assists. Since the New Year began, he has been held pointless in just eight of Boston’s 31 games.
And the kid is clutch, as well. Six of his 30 goals have been game-winners and there is no doubt that this type of play in late-game situations will be extremely important come playoff time.
Looking ahead 13 games to the playoffs, the Boston Bruins are playing like a team that will be tough to beat in April. After firing Claude Julien and promoting Bruce Cassidy, the team has looked rejuvenated and is playing like a team that can make a run at Lord Stanley’s Cup. There will, of course, be a huge emphasis on how the team’s leading scorer, Brad Marchand, plays during the postseason. However, Pastrnak’s play is just as crucial to the team’s success.
A quality offensive player like Pastrnak has a lot of focus put on goal-scoring but look deeper at the chances he created. Come playoff time, the goal seemingly gets smaller and defenses get tighter. It will be the players like Pasta that can create chances for others that will be necessary to win a series or two.
Outside of his own goals, David Pastrnak has 32 assists and is on pace for 41. He averages 3.58 shots per game. He has been on the ice for 84 of his team’s 196 goals this season, and creates 0.39 goals per game. He’s the second-best player on a team that includes Brad Marchand and he’s only 20.
Boston made the right decision three summers ago and, if he stays healthy, this team could make an exciting run at the Stanley Cup thanks to the all-around play of David Pastrnak.
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