David Pastrnak continues to dominate this season

David Pastrnak continues to dominate this season

There’s no question that David Pastrnak is the Bruins’ most lethal offensive weapon and having the season of his career, with 25 goals under his belt thus far.

However, if you ask Pastrnak about his early success, he’ll say it’s just a part of the game.

“I don’t look at it, I just play my game,” he said after scoring a hat trick against the Montreal Canadiens on Nov. 26. “That’s not my focus — hockey’s a team sport and that’s all that matters to me. Obviously, I read newspapers, and you see that stuff, but focusing on that is definitely not at the top of my list.”

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Achieving records might not be a priority for him right now, but here are a handful of stats that show just how dominant he’s been this season.

He’s leading the league in goals (25).

This might be an obvious one, but it still should not be ignored. In 28 games, Pastrnak holds the lead in goals scored (25) and is ranked fourth in the NHL in points (43). Last season he scored 38 goals, had 43 assists, and finished with 81 points. But given he has not gone more than two games in a row without scoring so far, he’s on track to tally a career-high in goals by the season’s halfway point.

His improved shooting and goal scoring percentage are noteworthy.

Throughout his career, Pastrnak’s shooting percentage ranged from 10.8 percent his rookie season to 16.2 percent in 2018-19. This season, he’s at 22.5 percent and in 28 games, he is averaging .89 goals per game  – the highest average of his career. Not only is that a vast improvement, but his lethal shot has put him on record boards and earned praise from some NHL greats.

Bruins legend Phil Esposito was amazed by his shot after watching him score his 25th goal against the Canadiens on Sunday.

“I’ll tell you what my thought was,” Esposito said. “There’s a guy who knows that from the top of the face-off circle to the dot, on either side of the circle, it’s like a funnel to the goal. You’ve got to think, ‘Shoot.’ And he did. And that’s why he’s a goal-scorer. These guys who keep passing the puck when they’ve got opportunities to shoot are not goal-scorers, ok? Goal-scorers think, ‘Shoot first.’ And that’s what Pastrnak does.

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“It was just an unbelievable shot. What surprised me was that it was a slap shot. A few guys in my day — Mike Bossy, Bobby Hull, Guy Lafleur and the Boomer (Bernie Geoffrion) — could slap the puck like that and hit the spot.”

He is only the fourth player in NHL history to score 12 or more goals in the first two months of the season.

Pastrnak scored 12 goals in October and November, making him the fourth player in NHL history to do so in the season’s opening months. He earned the accolade after scoring in a 3-2 overtime win over the Rangers on Nov.29, marking his 24th goal of the season.

He is only the second player on the Bruins to record seven hat tricks by the age of 23.

In an 8-1 win over Montreal, Pastrnak became the first Bruins player in over 30 years to score three or more regular-season goals against the Canadiens in Montreal. According to the NHL, it marked his seventh career hat-trick (that includes the playoffs) and made him only the second Bruins player in the NHL to do so by the age of 23. The only two active players in the league who have more hat tricks by that age is Washington’s Alex Ovechkin (9) and Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby.

He’s on track to score 50 goals this season, if not more.

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Not only is Pastrnak on track to beat his own single-season scoring record (38), but if he keeps it up, he could reach the 50-goal mark, making him the first Bruin to do so since now-Bruins president Cam Neely in 1993-94.

In fact, his current goal-average per game means he’s on track to score even more. Tallying 70 goals or more has not been done since both Alexander Mogilny and Teemu Selanne did in 1992-93, but his .89 average means he is actually on pace to score 73.21 goals this season alone. While it’s likely he’ll slow down, given there are 54 regular-season games left, the fact that he is in discussion to even possibly reach the mark proves his dominance.

Published at Thu, 05 Dec 2019 00:12:39 +0000