By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Boston Bruins finally have a Rocket Richard Trophy winner to their name, as David Pastrnak will finish the 2019-20 season as the co-winner of this year’s trophy with the Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin thanks to their 48-goal seasons.
In what was a straight-up ridiculous breakout year, the 25-year-old Pastrnak tallied 48 goals, and scored a league-leading 20 power-play goals, through the first 70 games of the season prior to pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Pastrnak’s 20 goals while up a man were not only the most in the league, too, but they also made Pastrnak the first Boston skater to score at least 20 power-play goals in a season since Cam Neely’s 20 strikes in 1993-94.)
And with 95 points to his name as well, Pastrnak was also well on his way to becoming the first 50-goal, 100-point player for the Black and Gold since Phil Esposito accomplished the feat with his 61-goal, 127-point season in 1974-75. Overall, the Bruins have had just three players hit that mark in their franchise history between Esposito (five times), Johnny Bucyk (once), and Ken Hodge (once). That’s one hell of a loss for No. 88, who was setting records left and right, in the Boston record books.
But the 48 goals are enough to make Pastrnak the Bruins’ first Rocket Richard winner since the award’s introduction in 1999, and the first B’s player to lead the league in goals since Esposito’s aforementioned 1974-75 season.