On Saturday afternoon, David Pastrnak was just as much of a difference maker as the Bruins have come to rely on. The electrifying Czech winger potted two goals and an assist in Boston’s 5-3 win over the Arizona Coyotes. It was Pastrnak’s thirteenth multi-point outing of the season and raised him to third in scoring with 39 points.
Coming off a career year and with significant roster attrition, there were doubts Pastrnak could match his 113 point campaign. However, a third of the way into the ’23-’24 season, he’s on pace to beat it by double digits.
Pastrnak has thrived with greater onus to drive offense for the Bruins, and the numbers show it. ESPN projects him to score 123 points at his current pace, with 50 Goals and 73 Assists. HockeyStatCards.com has Pastrnak graded with the 5th highest Offensive Rating in the league at 7.2. The closest Bruin to his Rating is Brad Marchand at 3.9.
He isn’t relying on the man-advantage to inflate his point totals either.
Only 16 of his 39 points have come on the power play, and 12 of them are assists. Not only is he leading the team in goal scoring, but the threat of him scoring has created more opportunities for his teammates to thrive.
The most impressive part of his production is who he’s produced with. Bruins fans have become so accustomed to seeing him dazzle on the Bergeron line or with Zacha, Krejci and Taylor Hall. This season, despite predominantly playing with Marchand and Zacha, Pastrnak has also shared lines with Poitras, Coyle, van Riemsdyk and DeBrusk.
MoneyPuck.com has recorded Pastrnak having played at least 10 minutes with six different line combinations. Four of those lines have an Expected Goals Percentage above 60%.
His production this year should dispel any lingering notions of being a result of the Bergeron line. He has long since arrived as one of the NHLs elite forwards and is evolving into a franchise cornerstone.
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