Bruins Pastrnak Gets First All-Star Nod And Finally The Recognition He Deserves

Image result for david pastrnak winter classic

(Image: Nam Y. Huh / Associated Press)

By: Patrick Donnelly | Follow me on Twitter @PatDonn12

David Pastrnak is certainly no secret around here. The 22-year-old’s talent is on display on a nightly basis as people all across New England make the trek to TD Garden, or tune into NESN or 98.5 The Sports Hub to watch or listen to this bright young player do his thing.

Pastrnak has gone from an elite young player oozing with potential to a superstar (who is still oozing with potential; he’s only 22, mind you). His talent and production has not gone unnoticed around these parts as he was recently voted #1 in NBC Sports Boston’s “Top 20 Under 25” for 2019.

The Czech forward currently sits at 27 goals and 29 assists for 56 points through 49 games this season, and he is on pace for 45 goals, 49 assists, and 94 points. Last season, No. 88 scored at a near point per game clip, too, with 80 points (35G, 45A) in 82 games. He’s also scored the most goals all-time out of any Bruins player under the age of 23 (121).

After being selected to represent the Bruins on the Atlantic Division team in this year’s All-Star game, Pastrnak is preparing to make his first appearance of his young career at All-Star Weekend.

With his first selection to the All-Star game, Pastrnak could finally be getting the recognition he deserves, at least on the national level. Like I said, David Pastrnak is no secret in and around Boston, but in national conversations he is often overshadowed by other elite young players like Kyle Connor, Brayden Point, Dylan Larkin, Patrik Laine, and William Nylander (who, for whatever reason, thought he was worth more money than Pastrnak despite not being all that close to Pastrnak’s point or goal production last season, and only has four points– 1G, 3A–in 20 games this season).

Now, I’m not trying to say that these guys are not worthy of the attention they receive; of course, they are. However, Pastrnak’s meteoric rise to “superstar” status in the NHL has been nothing short of amazing; his point totals are as follows: 27 points in 40 games as a rookie in 2014-15, 26 points in 51 games in an injury-plagued 2015-16, 70 points in 75 games in 2016-17, 80 points in 82 games in 2017-18, and now 56 points through 47 games this season, as previously stated.

In fact, looking back at his 2014 draft class, Pastrnak makes a strong case to be worthy of the No. 1 overall selection if the draft were to be redone. Currently, he has the second-most career points of that draft class with 259 in 303 games, just nine points behind Leon Draisaitl with 268 in 319 games.

On a side note: the 2014 NHL Entry Draft was absolutely loaded with forward talent, such as Draisaitl, Pastrnak, Point, Larkin, Nylander, Sam Reinhart, Viktor Arvidsson, and Nikolaj Ehlers (to name a few, woof). Right now, it’s looking like Pastrnak, Draisaitl, and Point are all making very strong cases to be considered the best player to come out of that draft.

Pastrnak does more than just score goals for the Bruins, too. A player that isn’t afraid to throw his body around, go to the dirty areas, hustle, backcheck, and take hits himself, Pasta does it all. He sees the ice brilliantly and has fantastic hands, although he is prone to turnovers, which just happen when one has the puck on his stick as much as he does.

Now, with his first All-Star selection (of many, hopefully), Pastrnak’s name is now cemented in the national conversation more than it ever was before. He’s still getting better, too, continuing to push passed other elite players from his draft class and around the league, cementing himself as one of the league’s best (tied-18th in points and tied-ninth in goals).

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Bruins Game 29 Preview: Toronto Maple Leafs

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Boston Bruins at Toronto Maple Leafs

Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

By: Drew Johnson | Follow Me On Twitter: @doobshmoob

There’s no question that the Boston Bruins are struggling. They are currently on a three-game skid, losing to three different Atlantic Division foes in the past week. On Saturday night they will host the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Maple Leafs are having a tremendous year and are in second place across the entire league. They are 5-0-1 in their last six contests, propelling themselves to a record of 20-8-1 overall. It will be a big challenge for Boston – a challenge they might not exactly be up for.

Who’s Hot?

David Pastrnak is just about the only Bruin who hasn’t succumb to sub-par play since Patrice Bergeron fell out of the lineup due to an injury. The team’s top center has missed nine games to date, a period in which Boston has gone 4-4-1. However, during that time Pastrnak has been able to continue producing, coming up with three goals and four assists despite Bergeron’s absence. The Bruins really need someone else to step up, however. Bergeron could be out through the holidays – if not longer – and Pastrnak can’t net Boston wins on his own.

Pastrnak Leafs

Credit: Getty Images/Maddie Meyer

Auston Matthews is one of the biggest names in the NHL today and for good reason. Toronto had lost one of their star centers for a number of games this season. The Maple Leafs went 9-5-0 during his absence. Though that is still a great record, they have been even better with him, going 11-3-1. In the four games Matthews has appeared in since his return, the center has put together a four-game point streak featuring five goals and three assists.

The Leafs’ starting goaltender, Frederik Andersen, is on a four-game winning streak. He made 38 saves in each of those four victories. He gave up 11 goals in the process, but Toronto’s offense did enough to put his team over the top. Andersen will be getting the start on Saturday, and it would be surprising if he didn’t have a good outing against the Bruins who have evidently struggled to get pucks to the back of the net.

Who’s Not?

Just about everyone besides Pastrnak hasn’t been up to snuff for Boston. Whether it’s a lack of execution or physicality, poor defense or just being a step behind the opponent, the Bruins are not meeting expectations by any means. Secondary scoring has been a problem all season and it has become more prevalent without Bergeron anchoring the top line.

Even Brad Marchand hasn’t been himself without his highly-skilled centerman. Many are calling for some trades – especially if Bergeron is to be out for an even longer period time than originally expected. That may be a route Boston needs to go if the team they are icing right now can’t come together and snag some victories.

Marchand Maple Leafs

Photo: Michael Dwyer/AP

William Nylander made waves this season as he and his team were at odds over contract negotiations. With just minutes to spare before the Dec. 1 deadline, the restricted free agent signed with the Leafs and has returned to action. Nylander hasn’t been struggling – he has only played one game this season – but it is worth noting that the young winger likely isn’t in his best form after missing two full months of the season. It will likely take Nylander a little while to get going, but a contest against a struggling Boston team could be just what he needs to jump-start his season.

Bruins vs. Maple Leafs Outlook

It’s like beating a dead horse at this point, but the Bruins have quite simply been bad this past week. Yes, injuries play a role in that. However, on paper, they have the skill to overcome the losses of Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, and Kevan Miller – at least in the short-term. They will be missing Jake DeBrusk as well, which is certainly not a good sign for the Bruins.

The Maple Leafs are red hot entering Saturday’s matchup. It could be a slaughter if the Bruins don’t find their A-game by the drop of the puck. Jaroslav Halak will be getting the start, and he will likely be tested early and often.

In their playoff series in April, the Matthews line was halted by both Bergeron’s unit and Chara’s defensive pair. With the Bruins missing both of those players, along with the Maple Leafs’ addition of John Tavares over the offseason, this is going to be a big challenge.

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One Or The Other: Bruins David Pastrnak vs. Maple Leafs William Nylander

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PHOTO CREDITS: (nhl.com)

By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj 

Let’s set the scene. Your favourite NHL team keeps every single asset that they have right now but you have to make one big decision – David Pastrnak or William Nylander. Who do you choose? Which player are you going to build your future around? Before you tell me (via Twitter), the article will be my reasoning for my decision on the same exact dilemma.

One of the biggest storylines in the National Hockey League right now is the current contract situation of Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander. Nylander’s entry-level contract expired this past offseason, but the 22-year-old failed to agree on a new contract with the Maple Leafs.

Due to his restricted free-agent status, Nylander remains apart of the Maple Leafs organization but is ineligible to play for the team until a new deal is agreed upon. As you may already know, if Nylander does not sign a new contract by December 1st, 2018, then he will not be able to play for the remainder of the 2018-19 NHL regular season – a huge blow to a Maple Leafs roster. (It is fair to note that at the time of writing this article, Nylander has not yet signed a deal. If he has and you’re reading this – you know why I’m saying what I’m saying.).

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PHOTO CREDITS: (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)

Throughout the season so far, but especially throughout the month of November, rumours have been flying everywhere about what the Leafs should do with this situation. Trade ideas with the Carolina Hurricanes, among other teams, were running ramped at one point in time to where it seemed like a trade was going to get finalized – but nothing came about.

Of course, the dream for Toronto fans is for Nylander to re-sign with the organization on a team-friendly contract. One player that has been often named as a possible comparison is Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak. As the article goes on, the importance of this contract comparison will be looked at more in depth – so continue reading if you so wish to.

With only a couple days until the deadline, Maple Leafs fans are restless as they await the update of William Nylander – be it a trade, re-signing, or that he will be losing out on the entire season. So, just to enjoy the time of this whole event now, let’s compare Nylander to a Bruin that is often compared to him – David Pastrnak.

Basic Information – Draft Selection, Position, Height/Weight, etc.

TOR William Nylander – 22-years-old, Center, Right-handed shot, 6’0″, 191 pounds, 8th Overall (1st Round) 2014 NHL Entry Draft by Toronto Maple Leafs

BOS David Pastrnak – 22-years-old, Right-wing, Right-handed shot, 6’0″, 194 pounds, 25th Overall (1st Round) 2014 NHL Entry Draft by Boston Bruins

Physically, both Pastrnak and Nylander are very similar to one another. At the beginning of his young career, Pastrnak lacked the size deemed necessary to be effective in the NHL. Not long after, Pastrnak got in the gym and worked on gaining muscle – bringing his weight to just under the 200-pound mark.

Both players are right-handed and were drafted in the opening round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. If for some reason you base your player decision on basic information such as this, then there is no clear favourite at this point.

Personal Statistics – Goals, Assists, Points, etc.

David Pastrnak began his NHL career in the 2014-15 season, the year right after he was selected by the Bruins in the NHL Entry Draft. While only playing in 46 games that season, (also played twenty-five games with the Providence Bruins in the AHL, producing 11-17-28 totals in the timespan), Pastrnak still managed to score ten goals and seventeen assists for twenty-seven points.

Following another year with less than thirty points, Pastrnak exploded for seventy points, 34 goals and 36 assists, in only 75 games played during 2016-17. In the postseason, Pasta would add yet four points in the six-game series against the Ottawa Senators. In 2017-2018, Pastrnak once again set a career-high in goals, assists, and points, scoring thirty-five goals for eighty points in a full 82-game season. Pastrnak also had a fire lit underneath him in the playoffs, scoring 6-14-20 totals in twelve postseason games.

With the twenty-eight points that Pastrnak has in twenty-four games to start this season, it brings his career totals to 113-118-231 in 278 career games. Also, Pastrnak’s nineteen goals (as of November 27th), accounts for 28.4% of Boston’s total goals all year long – the highest percentage in the entire league as of the twenty-seventh.

David Pastrnak: 278 GP – 113G – 118A – 231P – 0.83PPG 

Unlike Pastrnak, Nylander started his NHL career in the 2015-16 season. During the 2014-14 campaign, Nylander spent time with MODO Hockey in the SHL and then played 37 games with the Toronto Marlies, the Maple Leafs’ AHL affiliate team, scoring 14-18-32 totals. Nylander scored another forty-five points for the Marlies in the ’15/’16 season, allowing him to play in only 22 NHL contests that season.

2016-17 was the first season where Nylander was full-time – playing in 81 games, scoring 22-39-61 totals in those games. William matched that exact point total during the eighty-two games last season, only putting up twenty goals but forty-one helpers. As we know, Nylander has not yet played with the Maple Leafs this season which may end up being something looked upon negatively later on as his career progresses into the future.

William Nylander: 185 GP – 48G – 87A – 135P – 0.73PPG

At face value, David Pastrnak has more goals, more assists, and more points with a better points-per-game average throughout his career than the Maple Leaf forward. Pastrnak has back-to-back 70+ point seasons while Nylander has back-to-back 61-point seasons. It is fair to note that Nylander was not getting top-line minutes with the best players in Toronto like Pastrnak has with Bergeron and Marchand in Boston. However, I give the advantage to David.

NHL Games Vs. Each Other’s Teams

TOR William Nylander Regular Season – 9GP – 4G – 2A – 7P +4 Rating

TOR William Nylander Playoffs – 7GP – 1G – 3A – 4P -3 Rating

Nylander’s best performance against Boston came on February 4th, 2017 in Boston. Nylander scored his first, and only to date, hat-trick in a 6-5 victory over the Bruins.

BOS David Pastrnak Regular Season – 13GP – 10G – 6A – 16P Even Rating

BOS David Pastrnak Playoffs – 7GP – 5G – 8A – 13P +1 Rating

Pastrnak has had some great performances against Toronto already in his career, but the best has to be on April 14th, 2018 in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. Pasta scored his first career hat-trick in the playoffs while also assisting on three other goals, bringing his point total to six in the 7-3 crushing win over Toronto.

Already this season, Pastrnak has another three-goal game against the Maple Leafs, coming only a couple weeks ago on November 10th, 2018.

Contract Situation

On September 14, 2017, David Pastrnak and the Boston Bruins agreed to a six-year, $40 million contract worth just under $6.7 million for every season until the 2022-23 campaign. In the final two seasons, (2021-22, 2022-23), a modified no-trade clause comes into effect, meaning Pastrnak will have to submit a list of ten teams that he cannot be traded to.

At the time of the contract signing, Pastrnak’s new cap-hit was 8.89% of the cap ceiling. I mentioned that throughout this time of rumours, Nylander’s contract was often compared to Pastrnak. Should Nylander get paid more or less than Pastrnak? Does the cap-hit percentage play a difference due to the salary cap raise over the past few years? These questions headline – and continue to headline the thoughts on William Nylander.

In my opinion, when Nylander does sign an NHL contract, even if it is not with Toronto, he will most likely make more money per season than Pastrnak, however, the cap-hit when the contract was signed will be lower than Pasta’s 8.89%. When asked if he was upset that he signed the contract with Boston when he did, Pastrnak gave this answer:

“If you asked me when I was 15 years old if I was going to be playing for $6 million a year when I’m 22, I would be like, ‘I don’t think you’re saying the truth.’ It’s just dream come true for me. I’m happy for what I’m getting. I could be playing in Czech, right? For a couple hundred bucks a month. So I’m really happy,” Pastrnak said.

From the statistics and just watching the two players play, David Pastrnak is the better player and deserves more money annually.

Final Verdict

The time has indeed come. If I had the impossible chance to choose between David Pastrnak of the Boston Bruins or William Nylander of the Toronto Maple Leafs to lead my team into the future, I am clearly going with the Czech Republic native – David Pastrnak. 

Pastrnak is the better player overall. The way the play, skate, score and the number of points that each player has accumulated so far in the National Hockey League. However, both of their career’s are just beginning and a whole lot can change ten years from now, but at the current stage of their development, David Pastrnak is the clear-cut winner and those who cast their vote on my Twitter poll a few days ago largely agreed.

Speaking of which, make sure to follow my Twitter (@tkdmaxbjj) for daily NHL updates and polls such as this one! Let me know what you think about this Pastrnak vs Nylander topic, I’d love to know what you have to say!

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Game Preview: Boston Bruins vs Toronto Maple Leafs 11/26/2018

Image result for boston bruins vs toronto maple(Photo Credits: AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)

By: Liz Rizzo| Follow me on Twitter @pastagrl88

The last time these two teams faced each other at the TD Garden, Toronto was served a nice big bowl of pasta. Three bowls to be specific. Coming from a huge loss against Vancouver, the Bruins redeemed themselves with a 5-1 win over the Maple Leafs. David Pastrnak had his third NHL career hat trick that night. Patrice Bergeron scored a goal and Brad Marchand had two assists that night.  In the two weeks thereafter, the first line had to change a bit as things needed to shift when news came out that Boston yet again will be down a player. With a collective groan, the team would lose Patrice Bergeron for at least four weeks due to an upper-body injury. Luckily, many are slowly returning as the Bruins welcome back defenseman  Kevan Miller last week.

The Bruins will once again for the second time this season face their Atlantic Division foes as they play against the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight at the Scotiabank Arena. With Boston bleeding out some wins and playing with fresh-faced Providence youngsters, Toronto has  steadily remained third in the Atlantic Division,  posting a 16-8-0 record. Boston has been biting at their heals as they hold down 1st in the wild card position. The Leafs have been without their star player 21-year-old Auston Matthews who had suffered an injury on October 27th in a game against the Winnipeg Jets.  Since losing Matthews, Toronto has been 8-5. Along with the center being out, the signing of William Nylander has been a hot topic for Toronto. Coach Mike Babcock recently mentioned that he expected both players to be back with the team, along  with the singing of Nylander prior to the December 1st deadline.

Maple Leafs

For Toronto, right wing Mitchell Marner leads the team with 30 points as he netted six goals with 24 assists. Not far behind him is John Tavares at 27 points with 15 goals plus 12 assists. The Leafs are coming off a 6-0 win against the Philadelphia Flyers. Andreas Johnsson scored three goals in the first period for his first NHL hat-trick. Tavares would also score while Marner has two assists.  Patrick Marleau will play his 1,600th NHL game tonight as he faces the Bruins.  Frederik Anderson is expected in goal tonight.

Image result for toronto maple(Photo Credits: Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Image)

Boston

The Bruins recently held on to win a nail-biter of a game against the Montreal Canadiens in a 3-2 decision at the Belle Centre. Secondary scoring has been the issue for the Black and Gold this season, however the time to shine couldn’t come soon enough for many players. David Backes had his best game against the Habs with four shots on goal that forced two turnovers-one leading to the opening goal. With a host of D-men and Bergeron out with injury, the hustle of the fourth line has been huge for the Bruins. Backes joined Sean Kuraly and Chris Wagner on that line against Montreal and took a  high stick that led to a four-minute minor towards the end of the third period.

Both David Pastrnak and Patrice Bergeron have 26 points with Pastrnak leading the team in goals (17). Bergeron is at nine goals with Jake Debrusk (10) second to Pastrnak. Goaltender Jaroslav Halak is expected to start in net.  Here was today’s morning rushes :

Marchand – JFK – Pastrnak

Heinen Krejci – DeBrusk

Bjork – Nordstrom – Acciari

Wagner – Cave – Backes

Moore – Miller Krug –

Clifton Lauzon – Grzelcyk

Where to Watch

GAME TIME: Tonight with puck drop at 7:00pm

LOCATION: Scotiabank Arena

WHERE TO WATCH: NESN, TSN4, TVAS

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Boston Bruins: Round 1 Game 5 Preview

 

Boston’s David Pastrnak sheds Leaf defenceman Jake Gardiner along the boards in Game 2, in which Pastrnak racked up six points.

Photo Credit: (WINSLOW TOWNSON /AP)

By: Lucas Salvatore | Check me out on Twitter @lsalvatore29

The Boston Bruins have put themselves in a position to eliminate the Toronto Maple Leafs Saturday night, and they might get some help as Patrice Bergeron is expected to return after missing game 4. This will be the first of 3 possible chances to eliminate the Leafs look for the Bruins to come out with killer instinct tonight in front of their home fans. The Leafs are now on the ropes and have made several line up chances with the return of Nazem Kadri, it will be interesting how he keeps his cool under pressure tonight in a hostile environment.

The Bruins will need to match the Leafs intensity but cannot keep giving the Leafs free roaming in the offensive zone. While they have defended exceptionally well holding the Leafs to the outside and protecting the house, Tuukka Rask had to be spectacular for the Bruins to come away with a win in game 4. The Bruins second line was on the verge of scoring, and they did just that last game as Jake DeBrusk put in the insurance marker.

Interesting note about Rick Nash.

 

Lineup

Things You Need To Know

  • Expect Patrice Bergeron to return tonight
  • Tommy Wingels will be out if Bergeron returns
  • Nazem Kadri returns after serving a 3 game suspension
  • Leo Komarov is not expected to play

Players To Watch

Boston 

Jake DeBrusk: after scoring a massive goal in game 4 DeBrusk is adjusting to the NHL playoffs quite nicely. He and his linemates need covert on their offensive chances considering the amount that they are generating. Jake will need to continue to drive this line forward with his hectic playing style as he looks to get Rick Nash and David Krejci going. If the Bruins are going to end this tonight, this will need to be their best line. The Bruins depth needs to be more productive and get pressure off the top line.

Tuukka Rask: Tuukka is the Bruins backbone, and while he absolutely stole game 4 for Boston the team needs to be better in front of him in game 5 as the Leafs have everything on the line and will most likely put in their best effort thus far. Look for Rask to calm things down early as the Bruins will need to tighten things up as the Leafs will provide an early push out of the gate in this one as the team that has scored first in this series has won every game.

Toronto 

Nazem Kadri: Probably the most magnified player going into this game as his first game back will not be in front of his home fans where he can hide from specific players with matchups. Kadri will be thrown into the middle of the fire as the Bruins are not going to make his night easy what so ever. If the Leafs are to win this game Kadri will need to keep focus and not lose his head like he did in game 1, he is an instrumental player, and the Leafs will depend on him to have an excellent game tonight.

William Nylander: While all the talk has been about Auston Matthews not producing Nylander has not found the back of the net so far and only has recorded 1 assists in 4 games. William will be playing away from Matthews for the first time this series and will be playing alongside Tomas Plekanec and Andreas Johnsson. His play has killed the Leafs offensively in this series, and he needs to explode now if they want to have a chance to win. But it might be too late for this Leafs forward.

BNG Predictions

Lucas Salvatore: 4-1 Boston

KG: 5-2 Boston

Max Mainville: 5-1Boston

Mike Cratty: 5-4 Boston

Garrett Haydon: 5-2 Boston