Bruins

Bruins' David Pastrnak more upset about missing 100-point mark than 50 goals

Bruins' David Pastrnak more upset about missing 100-point mark than 50 goals

It would be totally understandable if David Pastrnak was majorly bummed out about missing out on 50 goals this season.

The 24-year-old had an outside chance two seasons ago when a thumb injury caused him to miss more than a month of time while he ended up with 38 goals in 66 games, and he was robbed this season sitting at 48 goals with 12 games remaining to play in the 2019-20 NHL regular season.

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He would have been the first Bruins player to hit 50 goals in a season since Hall of Famer Cam Neely memorably did it in 49 games almost 30 years ago, and Pasta was poised to hit 50 goals and 100 points for the first time in his NHL career.

Instead, COVID-19 put the regular season on pause and left him at 48 goals and 95 points in 70 regular season games with a plus-21 rating as one of the favorites in Hart Trophy consideration this season.

The 48 goals also earned him his first Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy as the NHL’s leading goal-scorer as he was tied with Washington Capitals scoring machine Alex Ovechkin when the season concluded. Still, Pastrnak said he was more moved by missing out on hitting the century mark in points for the first time in his NHL career rather than hitting a 50-goal mark that is rather uncommon for players wearing the Black and Gold.

"It's a little sad, but I was actually a little more mad about missing out on the 100 points than about the 50 [goals] to be honest with you,” said Pastrnak, during a Monday afternoon Zoom call with Bruins reporters. “Overall it was a good season. Sometimes there are things you can’t control and that’s what happened.

“I’m really happy and I felt good, and I’m playing with teammates and linemates that I can learn from every single day. That’s a big part I’m focusing on is a guy like [Patrice Bergeron] being my mentor and just watching him every day. Without a guy like him I wouldn’t be where I am.”

Last season, Pastrnak’s linemate Brad Marchand became the first Bruins player to get to 100 points since Jumbo Joe Thornton all the way back in the 2002-03 season, a few years before he was dealt away to the San Jose Sharks. And Pastrnak could have joined that elite club, which would be much more indicative of the development in the right winger’s overall game rather than the goal-scoring prowess that’s been there from the very start of his career.

The good thing for Pastrnak?

He’s just 24 years old and he’ll get many, many more cracks at 50 goals even if that number has eluded him over the last couple of standout NHL seasons where he’s turned into one of the premier game-breakers in the entire league.

Providence Bruins create award dedicated to memory of Colby Cave

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Providence Bruins create award dedicated to memory of Colby Cave

Four months after the tragic death of Colby Cave, the Providence Bruins are taking action to ensure his legacy will not be forgotten.

Cave was just 25 years old when he died in April after suffering a brain bleed.

But now the Providence Bruins have partnered with the Cave Family and the Boston Bruins Foundation to create the Colby Cave Memorial Award to honor his commitment to helping those in need. The award will be presented each season to a deserving Providence Bruins player for their dedication to the community and charitable organizations. 

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“The Colby Cave Memorial Award is a special way to honor and remember Colby for his leadership qualities and humanitarian efforts,” said Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney in a statement. “Driven and committed to be an NHL player, Colby was also uniquely unselfish with teammates and anyone that needed help! Emily, the Cave Family and the entire Hockey World lost a great person who was beloved by everyone that was fortunate enough to spend time with Colby Cave.”

"From the first day he stepped into the Dunkin’ Donuts Center to the day he left for the NHL, Colby Cave inspired each and every one of us with his diligence, selflessness and compassion,” added Providence head coach Jay Leach. “Always the first to help, both with his teammates, and throughout our community, Colby set the precedent that we aspire to uphold."

Cave signed with the Bruins as an undrafted free agent in 2015 and spent several years in Providence where he played alongside Bruins like Jake DeBrusk (also a teammate of Cave's in juniors), Sean Kuraly, Matt Grzelcyk, Jeremy Lauzon and others. 

In 239 games with the P-Bruins, Cave often wore the 'A' as the team's assistant captain, racking up 43 goals and 115 points in parts of five seasons. He made his Boston debut in December 2017 and appeared in 23 games with the Bruins over two seasons, but when the team attempted to return him back to Providence in January 2019, he was claimed on waivers by the Oilers, with whom he played 44 games over the last two seasons.

Fans who would like to honor Colby’s memory can do so by donating at BostonBruins.com/Community/Foundation-Donations. The fund’s proceeds go toward community programs with an emphasis on mental health initiatives and providing access to sports for underprivileged children.

NHL Playoffs: Bruins make lineup changes for Game 1; David Pastrnak, Tuukka Rask ready to go

NHL Playoffs: Bruins make lineup changes for Game 1; David Pastrnak, Tuukka Rask ready to go

The Bruins will have a full, healthy group when they take the ice for Game 1 against the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night at the Toronto bubble at Scotiabank Arena.

David Pastrnak and Tuukka Rask were both part of an optional morning skate on Tuesday and Rask will get the start against the Hurricanes after posting a gaudy .955 save percentage against them in the Eastern Conference Final a little over a year ago. Otherwise, it will be rugged rookie D-man Jeremy Lauzon getting the starting nod for the Bruins on the bottom pairing and Connor Clifton coming out of the lineup after he played well in last weekend’s round-robin finale vs. Washington.

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On Monday, the Bruins readied for the “real games” by watching a video that featured all of the coaches', players' and staff’s families wishing the Bruins well from back home, and sending the message that “we are all in it” from Boston. Now that the glorified exhibition games of the round robin are over with, Cassidy said there’s a tangible note of excitement in the group as they ready for the first round.

This is exactly what the Bruins have been waiting five months for while staying sharp and in shape during a global pandemic.

"I think guys right now are pretty focused on the job at hand. That's Game 1 against Carolina,” said Bruce Cassidy. “I think we've all been looking forward to this first playoff game. I think our guys are excited.

“It’s the way we played at the end of the year [with Lauzon] and we’re not burying that part of the season. Clifton played [a round robin game] and Johnny Moore one game, so we probably made that decision back in training camp with the way we allotted the ice time. At the end of the day if we need to make a switch in the lineup then we will, but we felt that gives us the best balance in our lineup of size and puck-moving ability.”

For the Carolina Hurricanes, they are expected to get Dougie Hamilton back after having not played for the last seven months following a broken leg suffered in the middle of January.

With Lauzon in the lineup and the Bruins settling into their middle-6 lines with Ondrej Kase and Anders Bjork on the right side, here are the projected Bruins line combos and D-pairings set to go up against the Hurricanes on Tuesday night:

FORWARD LINES

Brad Marchand Patrice Bergeron David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk David Krejci Ondrej Kase
Nick Ritchie Charlie Coyle Anders Bjork
Joakim Nordstrom Sean Kuraly Chris Wagner

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS

Zdeno Chara Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk Jeremy Lauzon

GOALTENDER

Tuukka Rask