Bruins

20 Under 25: Can David Pastrnak be a 50-goal scorer for Bruins?

20 Under 25: Can David Pastrnak be a 50-goal scorer for Bruins?

Forget "under 25" and forget "in Boston" — David Pastrnak might be one of the best 20 hockey players alive. 

Such a claim will probably get more pushback now than it would have during last regular season, but it all boils down to whether the Czech star's postseason disappearing act was just a bad month or a sign of what's to come. You'd have to be really pessimistic to think it's the latter. 

Pastrnak finished fourth in the NHL in goals per game with .58.  His "social injury" prevented him from what was going to be an easy 40-goal season, so he had to settle for a career-high 38 goals in 66 games. 

The performance marked Pastrnak's third straight 30-goal campaign, as he posted 34 in 2016-17 and 35 in 2017-18. The fact that he’s become such a consistent scorer made it all the more puzzling when he was able to muster only one even-strength goal over the final 12 games of the postseason. 

After being an injury away from 40 goals last season, that should be the expectation this season.

Would it really be crazy to see a 50-goal season out of him at some point? There were only two last season (Alex Ovechkin and Leon Draisaitl), but Pastrnak is only 23. He’s going to get better.

One can’t rule out him finishing a season atop the league in goals. 

Click here to see this year's candidates for the 20 Under 25 list

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WATCH: Zdeno Chara drops gloves for second night in a row, this time against Pat Maroon

WATCH: Zdeno Chara drops gloves for second night in a row, this time against Pat Maroon

Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara probably is pretty frustrated with his team's performance as of late.

After dropping the mitts with Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson on Wednesday, Chara did not hesitate to stir the pot once again on Thursday against the Tampa Bay Lightning. 

The 42-year-old and Bolts forward Pat Maroon got in a tussle seconds after the puck was dropped at Amalie Arena. 

Check it out:

According to HockeyFights.com, Chara hadn't fought in two straight games since 2008, just his third season as B's captain. 

The B's have dropped their past four games, so Chara rightfully is irritated after Boston got out to a hot start and first in the Atlantic Division. He most likely was trying to give his team some juice early on to send a message.

Also, Maroon was a thorn in the Bruins' side in last year's Stanley Cup Final as a member of the St. Louis Blues, so that may have played a role in Chara's decision to fight him.

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Tim Thomas gets emotional, sheds light on why he fell off the grid following retirement

Tim Thomas gets emotional, sheds light on why he fell off the grid following retirement

Former Boston Bruins goaltender and U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Tim Thomas finally is opening up about his struggles following his retirement in 2014. 

While not many have seen or heard from Thomas in years, there's a good reason for it. The 2011 Stanley Cup Champion gave a heartbreaking testimony Thursday regarding his difficult battle with hockey-related brain trauma.

"I couldn't communicate with anybody for a few years," Thomas said, according to ESPN's Emily Kaplan. "I didn't call my dad. I didn't talk to anybody. There was a time period, yeah, where I hated the game, so to speak. I didn't sit there and [say] I hate it. My rebound effect was like, this wasn't worth it.

"I couldn't follow the game anymore," Thomas added. "My brain wasn't functioning well enough to be able to keep up with the game, so I sat out in the woods for a few years. I didn't watch much hockey. There's not much TV out there."

Many athletes, like Thomas, who have endured an extensive amount of head trauma over the years find it difficult not to hate the sport they once loved. An emotional Thomas continued to say he reached his breaking point, and it was hard to claw himself out of the depths of despair. 

"I didn't want to talk about this. I didn't want to talk. I didn't want to tell the world this stuff. Not till I felt ready, and I didn't feel ready yet. But here I am."

Thomas added he had a brain scan done which showed two-thirds of his brain getting less than five percent blood flow, according to the Associated Press' Steve Whyno.

While discussing his difficulties, he also took the time to say how happy he was to see some of his old teammates from the 2011 championship team.

Take a look:

Hopefully this is just the beginning of Thomas discussing the pain he suffered over the years. The 45-year-old not only could bring plenty of attention to the importance of putting your health first, but be an advocate and mentor for hockey players who have gone through similar situations. 

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