David Pastrnak and Nathan MacKinnon are two of the league’s top talents. Who will emerge when the Boston Bruins welcome the Colorado Avalanche?
Are you ready for Saturday night’s heavyweight bout? No, not the boxing match. We’ll see the true heavyweight bout on the ice when the Boston Bruins take on the Colorado Avalanche.
The game pits two of the league’s top contenders against each other for the second time this season. Colorado handed Boston its first loss back in October.
There will be a ton of talent up and down on the ice on Saturday, as both teams have league-leading offenses. David Pastrnak and Nathan MacKinnon are the headliners, so they’ll square off in the main event.
Bruins fans are well-aware of Pastrnak’s theatrics this year. Every game he has something new for us to watch.
Although he’s without a goal in his last few games, Pastrnak still is number one in the league with 25 goals in 29 games. He might not score 50 in 50 like we originally thought, but he’ll be close.
We usually don’t judge Pastrnak on his playmaking skills, but in addition to his 25 goals, he does have 18 assists to give him 43 points this year.
MacKinnon enters Saturday’s action with 44 points, one more than Pastrnak. Unlike his counterpart in Boston, MacKinnon is more of a playmaker. He has 26 assists and 18 goals, an almost perfect reversal of Pastrnak’s statline.
That doesn’t mean MacKinnon isn’t a threat to score. Given injuries to his top linemates, MacKinnon had to shoulder a lot of the goal-scoring load this year. He has six more goals than anybody else on the Avalanche right now.
Who will match up against Pastrnak and MacKinnon?
Pastrnak and MacKinnon make up the main event, but they won’t necessarily go head-to-head all night.
Expect Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy to counter MacKinnon’s line with Zdeno Chara and Charlie McAvoy. Chara may lack the speed, but he has the size and reach to limit MacKinnon’s space out on the ice. That’s all anybody can hope for against such a dynamic talent.
For the Avanlanche, don’t be surprised if Samuel Girard and Nikita Zadarov get the call against Pastrnak and company. They technically make up Colorado’s second defense pair, but Girard and Zadarov give the Avs the best chance against Pastrnak.
Pastrnak and MacKinnon are the two x-factors, so expect them to decide the outcome of Saturday night’s game. Whoever finishes with the most points will likely take home the win. Sometimes, hockey can be that simple.