Boston Bruins: David Pastrnak’s Absence Is Hurting The Canes

Boston Bruins, David Pastrnak #88 (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Boston Bruins, David Pastrnak #88 (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The absence of David Pastrnak on the Boston Bruins’ top line is actually hurting the Carolina Hurricanes and here’s the reason why.

It may seem hard to fathom that the Boston Bruins are gaining benefits from the joint league-leading goal scorer David Pastrnak being injured, but it’s forcing the Canes to re-think how they try to match-up against our lines.

Whereas if Pastrnak was fit and healthy, it’d be an easy hard match against the top line and work it down from there, his absence means that Bruce Cassidy is rolling the lines just that little bit more.

Hence why we’ve seen upticks in the form of David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk as well as Charlie Coyle’s line starting to find it’s feet. While our scoring is still mainly occurring through special teams, we actually seem to be threatening from more angles that we might otherwise.

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In the regular season, it wasn’t unusual for the top line to be seeing ice-time around the twenty minute mark, especially when Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak were all healthy.

Looking back to the final regular season game the Boston Bruins played; a 2-0 result over the Philadelphia Flyers, they each featured 12-13 minutes at even-strength. In Game 3 of this series, the even-strength ice-time of Beregeron and Marchand didn’t even top 10 minutes.

Given that the Boston Bruins had five power-play opportunities last game, this diminished even-strength ice-time for the top line massively impacts Carolina. They’re stuck dealing with two elite and more importantly fresh players every time they go down a man.

Perhaps these assignments would be no different if David Pastrnak were fighting fit for the Boston Bruins. Perhaps if that were the case, we’d expect that extra 2-3 minutes at even-strength especially given how many of the team’s goals they contributed in the regular season.

The longer the Boston Bruins can prevail without a player that would inevitably have tipped 50 goals if the season hadn’t been canned, the more belief they’re going to have.

To potentially win the series despite missing such a vital player through injury shows that the team is truly committed to getting it done this summer.

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Of course, as soon as David Pastrnak has recovered we’d love to see him back in the Boston Bruins line-up. I’m sure even the Canes might view it as an easier prospect to plan defensive strategies and line-matches with him there rather than without.