When reflecting back on 2022-23 season for the Boston Bruins, it’s hard to ignore just how potent their offense was, how stout their defense was, and just how dynamic their goaltending duo was. When you look at all of that, and then compare it to their sudden collapse in the first round, it makes you wonder, what exactly happened in their record-setting season.
I’m not here to talk about the collapse, however, I’m here to talk about one of the (many, many, many)) positive things that happened. One thing that is positive for sure, is that Hart Trophy finalist, David Pastrnak, had a season to remember. Pastrnak is also a finalist for the Ted Lindsay Award.
When you talk about the team that set the record for most points in a season, and had the most wins to boot, it’s hard to ignore the guy who collected the most points on the team with 113, and joined the exclusive 60-goal club with Phil Esposito.
David Pastrnak gets a high grade for a solid year with the Boston Bruins
Pastrnak played the role of iron horse this past season for the Bruins. He played in all 82 games during the regular season, as well as all seven playoff games. He scored 61 goals in the regular season (five in the playoffs), and tallied 52 assists (none in the playoffs) – giving him a grand total of 118 combined between the regular season and the playoffs.
On the season, the Czech winger also recorded three hat-tricks and four games where he recorded four points. The first hat-trick game came on April 1st against the Pittsburgh Penguins PPG Paints Arena in the Steel City.
This three-goal game tied him with team president Cam Neely for second-most in Bruins history with 14, but the next two – his 15th, and 16, respectively – pushed him past Neely into sole possession of second place behind Esposito (who has 26) – the 15th coming against the Anaheim Ducks on the road at the Honda Center in California.
While Pastrnak’s goal-scoring could be felt every time he touched the ice throughout the season it was his speed that teams really feared as he always had a chance to break into the offensive zone with the puck.
Pastrnak’s shot efficiency was a bit lower than Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid – also a Hart Trophy finalist – who had more goals than Pastrnak did during the regular season, but he was still able to find the twine15% of the time, according to NHL.com, leaving him just out of the top 20 in the National Hockey League.
Throughout the 2022-23 season, the Bruins were able to make Pastrnak fit wherever he played throughout the season. Whether that was the top line with Patrice Bergeron or the second line with David Krejci, he seemed to have chemistry with whoever his linemates were.
His speed, ability to play every game – at a high level at that – and his knack for picking up his teammates were definitely some things that helped his team get to the stage that they made it to this season.
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What all of Pastrnak’s intangibles also have the potential to do, is it potentially also gives Boston fans something to look forward to for years to come – at least from an offensive standpoint. Halfway through the season, the Bruins were able to sign Pastrnak to an extension – keeping him in Boston for at least eight more years.
Final Grade: A