BOSTON – With Patrice Bergeron and Charlie McAvoy, potentially, both injured and on the shelf for the Boston Bruins, it is high time that the rest of Boston’s greater offensive lights are ready to step up and fill the void. Brad Marchand heeded the call on Saturday night, obviously, with his overtime game-winning goal in Boston’s 2-1 OT win against the Montreal Canadiens at TD Garden, and on that line’s opposite side David Pastrnak is showing all the signs of breaking out as well.
The 21-year-old right winger had a goal and three points against the Penguins on Thursday night, and Pastrnak was again heavily involved in the offensive pressure against the Habs with four shots on net, a couple of scoring chances and an impressive ten shot attempts in his 19: 10 of ice time. Pastrnak was able to rip a couple from the left face-off circle during Boston’s six power play possessions, and took a couple of pucks strong to the net as well in his varied offensive attacks.
The battle was good, the puck management was solid and the chances were burgeoning with Pastrnak’s game trending in the right direction at time when the Bruins are going to need him if they hope to keep their offensive machine churning without a couple of key cogs.
“I had a lot of chances, which is good enough for my game. Usually those games are happening after you score eight goals next game you go and [there] is an absolute wall in the net,” said Pastrnak, who has had as many shot attempts (eight) in the last two games as he did in the previous five contests. “It happens, thank God two was enough tonight. I think we were patient and we stuck together as a team really well.
“Obviously I end up learning every game when I am playing with [Bergeron]. He’s such a good defensive player. It’s just about stop and starts usually good offense comes from a good defense so I’m going to try to keep it going.”
It didn’t lead to a goal on Saturday night, but it easily could have been multiple goals based on the quality of scoring chances.
“Pasta could’ve had a hat trick, I thought, tonight. The puck was following him, so on the one hand, because you win [you say] the puck is following him; he’s playing well. If it hadn’t worked out, you [say] he’s got to bury some of those. It’s that simple. So, it’s the good and the bad, right?” said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. “We’d like to see him finish a few more of those, but when you’re skating and winning puck battles and you do that on a consistent basis, then you become like Marchy and you score 30, 35 goals.
“That’s what [Pastrnak] is trending toward. I thought he’s done a really good job this whole week of winning more pucks and being around [the action] more. He’s too good a player. If he has it, eventually he is going to get his goals.”
The Bruins are absolutely going to need some of those goals moving forward over the next few weeks as the games intensify, and the need to fill in some production without No. 37 or No. 73 becomes a necessity.