Boston Bruins

May 15, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia: Washington Capitals goaltender Vitek Vanecek (41) makes a save on Boston Bruins right wing David Pastrnak (88) in the first period in game one of the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Capital One Arena. (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)

The Bruins’ top-six forwards rebounded in a major way in their come-from-behind win over the Capitals on Monday night. Patrice Bergeron netted an early equalizer, Taylor Hall shoveled some manure to tie it late, then Brad Marchand rocketed a game-winner past Craig Anderson to tie the series 1-1.

David Pastrnak, you’re up.

As is tradition with a lot of Boston athletes, the media discourse around Pastrnak often rises to absurd, needlessly apocalyptic levels. Because he’s become one of the premier goal scorers in the National Hockey League, people start to sound as if he should already have three Stanley Cups by age 24. It’s an unreasonable demand for a guy who may not even be in his prime yet.

But Pastrnak could certainly be better than he’s been in his last 19 playoff games going back to the 2019 Stanley Cup Final against the Blues. Five goals and 11 assists don’t look so bad on paper. But five goals on 78 shots, a 6.4 percent clip, is not productive enough for arguably the league’s best pure shooter. And only two of those goals have come at even strength, a situation that only becomes more important as the playoffs go on.

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Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 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 Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @mattydsays. You can also email him at