Like an on-ice King Midas, all the things David Pastrnak has touched this season has turned to gold. And if he can maintain this up, we could possibly be on the verge of seeing a real breakout season from the Bruins winger.David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand|Mark Blinch/NHLI through Getty ImagesOn a staff that’s extremely top-heavy relating to scoring targets, David Pastrnak of the Boston Bruins is The Man With the Golden Stick, each figuratively and actually. On the figurative aspect, Pastrnak goes into tonight’s sport in opposition to the Toronto Maple Leafs sharing the league lead in targets with James Neal (?) at 9, which represents nearly half of the 22 targets the Bruins have scored this season. On the literal aspect, the Bauer Nexus stick Pastrnak is utilizing this yr is definitely golden.
There’s little doubt that Pastrnak has established himself as one of many league’s best and constant gamers previously three seasons. His 116 targets since 2016-17 places him fifth within the league in that class, whereas his 246 factors places him 14th. It’s no marvel that Pastrnak has not modified his summer season routine, nor that he has that relatively weird tape job of three strands of white tape on the highest of the stick and three strands of black tape on finish of the blade. However when Bauer provided him sticks in Bruins colours with a gold shaft, Pastrnak switched from his blue follow the brand new one and it has given him the Midas contact. With 9 targets on 27 photographs, he has a 33.three taking pictures share and with 15 factors, he has been on a whopping 68.1 % of Boston’s targets.
“It looks as if he’s hitting it cleaner this yr than the tip of final yr,” stated Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. “I believe lacking 5 weeks on the finish of the yr (in 2018-19), his timing was a little bit bit off greater than his hand harm. He’s had time to work on that and get his hand again, so I believe that’s an enormous cause.”
For his half, Pastrnak has stored the identical routine for the previous couple of summers, however the truth that the summer season of 2019 was a truncated low season because of the Bruins going to Sport 7 of the Stanley Cup remaining. “To be sincere, I don’t like to vary issues which might be working,” Pastrnak stated. “I’ve had the identical summer season apply the previous three years and I don’t need to change it whether it is working. I really feel good on the ice.”
And it’s displaying. It has lengthy been documented that Pastrnak patrols the precise aspect of the very best line within the sport, with Patrice Bergeron as the middle and Brad Marchand on the left aspect. And that line has been the engine for a staff that has gotten off to a 5-2-1 file. It could be affordable to anticipate one among Pastrnak or Marchand to guide the Bruins in targets and for that line to be the one driving the bus offensively for the staff. But it surely does need to be a little bit regarding for the Bruins that these three gamers have accounted for 15 targets, with no one else on the roster having any greater than two.
Final season, Pastrnak was on a tempo that, if he hadn’t missed 16 video games with a thumb harm, would have resulted in his first 100-point season. With 30-plus targets every of the previous three seasons, Pastrnak could possibly be in for a real breakout season, one by which he hangs round with the highest gamers within the league relating to each targets and factors. “I believe final yr he was on observe for that,” Cassidy stated. “I believe he would have been a man who would have been butting up in opposition to 50 (he was on a 41-goal tempo) if he had stored his manufacturing up, if ‘Marsh’ and ‘Bergy’ keep wholesome. I believe a few of it has to do together with his linemates staying wholesome and him wholesome. He was shut final yr and it appears like this yr he’s on the identical path.”
That’s, after all, the important thing for all three of the Bruins’ high forwards. Bergeron missed 17 video games final season and 18 the season earlier than. Of Pastrnak’s 9 targets, six main assists have come from Marchand and two from Bergeron. And the one unassisted objective Pastrnak has got here off a damaged play by which Bergeron received the faceoff. Pastrnak is aware of it’s a lengthy season and the manufacturing received’t at all times be this plentiful, however he’s pleased to trip the streak whereas it lasts. “I don’t know, the puck is simply getting into, you realize,” he stated when requested what’s totally different concerning the begin of this season. “Any alternative to date goes in for me, so it’s good. It’s hockey and there are going to be ups and downs.”
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Tags: boston bruinsConnect: In regards to the AuthorKen CampbellKen Campbell, The Hockey Information’ senior author, is in his second tour with the model after an eight-year stint as a beat reporter for the Maple Leafs for the Toronto Star. The Sudbury native as soon as tried out for the Ontario League’s Wolves as a 30-year-old. For sure, it did not work out.