Talking Points: Pastrnak looks ready for regular season
David Pastrnak had been warming up gradually in the preseason, but he looked like he’s just about ready to go after Monday night’s performance. Pastrnak scored his first preseason goal 52 seconds into the game on a sniper shot to Corey Crawford’s glove hand side, and was pretty dangerous all night while mostly playing with Matt Beleskey and Ryan Spooner. Pastrnak finished with a goal and two points along with a plus-1 rating in 17:53 of ice time, and led the Bruins with five shots on net and eight shot attempts overall. He was creating scoring chances, creating turnovers with his speed and generally doing all of the things that pushed him to breakout levels with 34 goals and 70 points last season.
For a player in Sean Kuraly that’s fighting tooth and nail to win an NHL spot out of training camp, he did not have a strong night against the Blackhawks. He finished minus-2 in a game that the Bruins won by a 4-2 score, and won just 2-of-7 face-offs with no shots on net and a giveaway in 14 minutes of ice time. There were a couple of shifts where Kuraly, David Backes and Tim Schaller got the cycle game going, really pounded the Chicago defensemen and looked like the big, heavy, grinding trio that the Bruins hope they can be. But Kuraly didn’t look like the same fast, physical factor that he was during the playoffs, and may still have another level he needs to get to if he wants to guarantee that he’ll end up cracking the NHL roster.
It was definitely the start where the Bruins saw David Pastrnak score on the very first shift of the game, and then scored again 36 seconds later on a Jeremy Lauzon long-range bomb from the left point. That was an energetic beginning to the game that got everybody into the contest right off the bat. It was part of a first period where the B’s outshot the Blackhawks by an 11-6 margin and built up a 3-1 lead that they wouldn’t relinquish at any point during the game. Sure it was against a Blackhawks lineup that was missing Jonathan Toews, Pat Kane, Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith among others, but still credit the Bruins for jumping all over the Blackhawks and building an advantage that pushed them to victory.
Credit Malcolm Subban for stepping up and seizing a chance to solidify his standing in the Bruins organization, and he did that with a very good performance in likely his last action of the preseason. He gave up a goal in each of the first two periods, but he never gave up the lead before really slamming the door in the third period. Subban made 14 strong saves in the third period including a couple of very athletic stops as he scrambled behind his defense, and finished stopping 24-of-26 shots overall in the winning effort. Certainly, Subban is ticketed for Providence to start the season, but he can go to the AHL knowing that he out-performed Zane McIntyre and should be full of confidence to begin an important hockey year for him.
BY THE NUMBERS
42 – the percent of face-offs that the Bruins won while going 25-for-59 on the draw, and clearly still trying to adjust to some of the new enforcement issues as well some face-off woes behind front man Patrice Bergeron.
QUOTE TO NOTE
“He was a crusher on that one. He buried a guy. I don’t know physicality is the right word, but the proper term is compete. Sometimes it’s body position and sometimes it’s knocking a guy off the puck, but it’s good to see. The puck comes back up the ice, he makes a play and then Beleskey gets it up quickly and we score a goal.” – Bruce Cassidy, on Ryan Spooner getting a couple of hits that led to David Pastrnak’s goal on the first shift of the game.