By: Ryan Anderson | Follow Me @habshater63
Can David Pastrnak return to the goal-scoring machine we all know he can be? Let’s take a look at what he’s done these playoffs and see what we could expect to see in round two.
Pastrnak Wakes Up at End of Series Win vs Capitals
David Pastrnak is back. Well, it may be too soon to say that, but it’s hard not to be excited about what we’ve seen from Pasta recently. Coming off a season in which he was co-Rocket Richard winner in the 2021 season was a year full of ups and downs from the Czech goal scorer. After starting the season at an insane pace with five goals in his first three games and nine goals in his first nine games, including two hat tricks. While finishing the season with only four goals in his last twenty-one games. Some were really starting to worry about Pastrnak, and rightfully so, he was not looking like himself at the end of the season.
Quiet First Three Games vs Washington
In Game One vs. the Capitals, Washington shut down the Bruins top line, but Pastrnak was not included. He did have a team-high six shots and a game-high in Corsi with ten. Follow that up with an assist on Bergeron’s goal in game two, and you could say Pasta had an okay start to the series. Quiet, but it didn’t hurt the team. Despite having good analytical numbers in Game Three, Pastrnak did not pass the eye test. He was weak on the puck, had trouble receiving passes, missing open nets, and was ultimately a minus one on the night. There were times in Game Three where he looked lost out there on the ice.
Assisting on Marchand’s tip-in goal from his shot in the second period of Game Four was exactly the thing Pastrnak needed to get back on track. In Game Four, Pastrnak looked like a different player and was all over the ice. He was later rewarded with a power-play goal twenty-nine seconds into the third period off an Anthony Mantha interference penalty. He had two more great chances throughout the game, and it felt as though he could have had a hat trick that game. Pastrnak brought that energy into game five of the series and scored a beautiful goal to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead early in the second period in what would become the eventual series-clinching game.
I know you want to watch it again so I linked it for you here.
Could we see Pastrnak continue to play this way in the Playoffs? Well, it remains to be seen but, this season vs. the Islanders, he scored two goals and recorded five assists in seven games. I expect this series vs. the Islanders to be less physical than vs. the Capitals, and that should, in turn, benefit Pasta as he tends to play at a higher level vs. less physical teams. The Islanders can throw their weight around when they want to and when necessary, but they don’t have the same size that the Caps do.
There will be more open ice, and we should be ready to see 88 take advantage of that. When the Bruins played the Islanders post-trade deadline, they looked like a completely different team out there. Defeating the Isles in every matchup after acquiring Hall, Lazar, and Reilly. A complete flip of losing the first five meetings of the two teams. Game One of the Bruins-Islanders series is on Saturday with puck drop at 8 PM. Make sure to tune in for what should be an incredibly competitive and close series.