(Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

By Sam Minton | Follow Me on Twitter @sam_minton22

David Pastrnak is one of the best wingers in the NHL, but he thinks he can play better. That is quite a scary thought for the rest of the NHL. Pastrnak is off to a good start in the 2021-22 NHL season with two goals and three assists. Once again, he, along with the rest of the first line, has been crucial to Boston’s success.

Still, the Bruins have had their struggles. Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy even had to tinker with the lines on Sunday with Craig Smith and Pastrnak swapping places. So what could be the cause of Pastrnak’s struggles? According to the winger, it’s not having the right mentality.

“Even though I’m a shooter, I always look pass first,” said Pastrnak. “I would definitely want to get it out of my game a little bit or at least even it up and make the right decisions…that’s the part of when things don’t go your way sometimes, you’re passing instead of shooting, and the opposite. I have to get a little bit back to shooting more and definitely getting the opportunity and thinking shot first, especially when things are going a little slower than usual.”

It’s rather interesting that Pasta feels this way, seeing that he is currently averaging more than four shots a game which is in the top 10 of the NHL. Pastrnak’s head coach also agrees that the winger needs to shoot more. “He seems like he’s trying to make plays more than shoot right now,” said Cassidy. “I think he’s been off-net a little bit early on…he’ll get better. He cares, and he wants to get better. He’s in good spirits, it’s just getting it to translate on the ice. To me, it’s just the shot vs. pass mentality…players go through that stretch.”

Cassidy’s comments ring true when instead of rifling a shot from the hash marks after entering the zone, Pastrnak might decide to show off his dangles. Some of his best goals have come on the power play when he has the green light to just launch one-timers.

Pastrnak is coming off a season where he averaged a point per game. In 2021 he is close to repeating that feat with how well he has started this campaign. While all the members of the first line are spectacular, they each have their roles. While Patrice Bergeron can score goals, he has tallied more assists in 16 of his 17 NHL seasons. Bergeron is a great distributor, and having goal scorers like Brad Marchand and Pastrnak make life easier.

If Pastrnak shoots even a little bit more, it’s scary to think of the possibilities. Maybe he could finally eclipse 100 points?

The Bruins will look to continue their winning ways when they play the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night. Don’t be surprised if Pastrnak ends up finding the back of the net in this one.