By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
In case you missed it, David Pastrnak decided to drop everybody’s jaw in the first period of Thursday’s 4-1 win over the Oilers.
With the Bruins on the power play and down by a goal, Pastrnak noticed a gap in Edmonton’s penalty-killing defense, seized it, and simply went to the races with enough side-to-side dangles to give a goaltender vertigo.
“I don’t know – absolutely panic mode in my head,” Pastrnak said of his goal. “I don’t know, it was going being able to get in the middle after a broken play and yeah, their D had a bad gap so I figured I would try that and then I just got working to the net.”
Admitting that his confidence is better than ever before, Pastrnak’s fourth goal of the season was his best yet in an eight-day-old campaign, and is an obvious early candidate for Bruins goal of the year.
“Who doesn’t appreciate a move like that?” B’s boss Bruce Cassidy said. “You don’t like it against you, but it was a hell of a play. It was a high-end skilled play. We keep the puck alive and we attack the interior. What we wanted to do against their PK is get inside, attack their D and see if they can handle us. We got a lucky one after that, but still that was a great goal to get us going. You don’t like to give up the first one at home. You have to get it equal as quickly as you can, and he did a great job.”
“That was special,” Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk, whose pinch along the boards to keep the puck in the attacking zone made it possible, offered. “He can obviously make those plays and that’s really fun to watch. He made a great play taking it to the middle there, we were kind of struggling a little bit getting through their zone on the power play and that was all him, so that’s fun to watch and I’m sure we’ll see a lot of that the rest of the year.”
Following a career year that saw him set career-highs in goals (35), assists (45), and points (80), Pastrnak is off to a similarly hot start in 2018-19, and has continued to evolve into a more responsible player on and off the ice, according to his coach.
“He’s still as personable and goofy as ever around the room, but I do believe he carries himself like more of a leader,” Cassidy said. “We’ve got veteran guys in the room that are going to always lead, but that middle group is where, for whatever reason we don’t have – we’ve got young, we’ve got old. So, it’s good to see Pasta take charge because he’s going to be around the Jake’s [DeBrusk] and [Ryan] Donato’s and those guys. So, if he can lead those guys, even though they’re similar ages, I think that’s important because I think sometimes those younger guys, they have a tougher time opening up to the older guys.
“So they need a few guys that are closer to their age to do that with.”
And I suppose it helps when that guy can also blow the roof off the joint with goals like that.
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. He has also been a voting member of the Boston Chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association since 2013. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Ty? Follow him on Twitter @_TyAnderson.