Even though it feels like an eternity since David Pastrnak lit up the Tampa Lighting, the Czech forward has shown glimpses of promise. Despite notching a goal and an assist since his official coming out party in mid-January, Pastrnak’s game has justified General Manager’s Peter Chiarelli’s decision to keep him with the senior club and forego a year of his entry level contract. Pastrnak has incredible quickness, vision, and offensive instincts. He can undress defenders (just ask Dan Boyle) and is hard to miss when he darts across the ice.
Head Coach Claude Julien has experimented with line combinations, mixing and matching the 18 year old with many different forwards in hopes of finding the perfect fit. He started off playing alongside Milan Lucic and fellow Czech playmaker David Krejci, but Julien ultimately wanted to work him into his ice time, and moved him off of the first line. In the most recent game versus the Montreal Canadiens, Pastrnak rejoined the first line. The emergence of Carl 1 and Carl 2 (Carl Soderberg and Loui Eriksson) in combination with Chris Kelly made it nearly impossible for Julien to separate them. They played a stellar game together against the New York Islanders a night prior, with Carl 2 (Loui 1 if that’s what you prefer) punching in a bouncing puck in front of the net past old friend Chad Johnson to score the game winning goal. In Sunday night’s clash, Pastrnak was welcomed to the oldest rivalry in hockey by rumbling through PK Subban.
Pastrnak spins to avoid the brunt of a Subban hithttp://t.co/6Alk5Dso80
— Chris Abraham (@CrzyCanucklehed) February 9, 2015
Pastrnak showed no fear in charging towards the net and attempting to disrupt Carey Price. He kept his feet moving all night long, more than keeping up with Montreal’s quickness. He has a quick release and his exceptional hockey sense allows him to always be aware of where he is in relation to the net.
In a broader sense, Pastrnak’s offensive creativity has breathed fresh air into a Bruins’ roster who was starved for offense. Although it hasn’t necessarily translated to the box score, Pastrnak adds the speed and skill that Krejci craved to have as a compliment. In a lineup full of players who can hold their own physically and have decent vision, Pastrnak is noticeable on the ice because he is capable of creating Kodak moments. You don’t really expect Daniel Paille to make defenders look silly while marching 200 feet down the ice, do you? (I mean really, that man couldn’t buy a goal). There is no other player on the Bruins that can do this:
Ben Bishop’s jockstrap was found in the fifth row! Yes, Jack Edwards, he is a special talent. It won’t be long until the 2014 first round pick will be lighting the lamp on a regular basis. Let’s just say this: the rest of the league has been put on notice.