If you hear the faint sound in the distance of an ice cold Bud pounder cracking open at about 4pm today, that’s me celebrating the return of David Pastrnak. It’s about damn time.
I would caution everyone out there to not expect a hat trick tonight against New Jersey, but at the same time you should be excited. As we all know he brings an element to the Bruins lineup that they don’t have a surplus of; finishing. The kid can score. Yes, Boston is one of the better offensive teams in the NHL statistically but you can thank the power play for that. And more importantly, 5-on-5, when it’s a tight game and the Bruins need that lone difference making goal, Pastrnak would top your list of guys who could bury it.
Pasta has only appeared in 10 games this season, notching 2 goals and 2 assists. What’s a bit misleading about his low totals is the last 3 games he was playing with the broken bone in his foot from blocking a shot against Arizona that kept him sidelined all winter. The injury was missed in the first X-ray the team took and you could see he wasn’t exactly skating the best in those final three games until they discovered the bone break.
It looks like he’ll start out lined up with Patrice Bergeron and Loui Eriksson. Both 37 and 21 are playing great this year, at nearly a point-per-game pace, with Bergy sitting 14th in the league in scoring and Loui sitting in 22nd. Pastrnak doesn’t have a history of putting up points on the wing with Bergeron but I wouldn’t expect that to continue either.
This is a huge return to the lineup for the Bruins. Not just because of the offensive abilities Pastrnak brings to the table but it also puts other players back in the roles they belong in. You’re not asking, or depending on, third line depth forwards like Landon Ferraro or Brett Connolly to play up on the top line because you’ve been decimated by injury. Those players will also benefit being back where they perform best.
So pick up your favorite adult beverage on the way home from work in honor of the return of 88. It’s wild to think how differently the Winter Classic might have been had he been in the lineup with David Krejci and Brad Marchand. But that nightmare in the past and the Bruins need to get back to their winning ways tonight.
Puck drops just after 7pm. Cheers.