NHL on NBC: There’s no slowing down David Pastrnak
NBC’s coverage of the 2020-21 NHL season continues with Sunday’s matchup between the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers. Coverage begins at 12 p.m. ET on NBC. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.
It feels like there’s a new stat every game to quantify how David Pastrnak has continued to become one of the best scorers in the NHL.
Sunday’s game at Lake Tahoe was no different; for the second time in three games against Philadelphia this season, the Bruins top line winger netted a hat trick, his 10th in 160 regular season contests.
Last weekend will be remembered more for the Bruins 90’s swag and Pastrnak’s Barbie Girl soundbite than anything that happened on the ice, and that’s what those events are all about. It is worth it, though, to contextualize just how dominant Pastrnak has become in his seventh full NHL season.
Last season almost surely would have ended up his first with 50 goals if not for the pause and then postponement. He had 48 beforehand, and there was still a month left of games to get there.
This time around he still won’t reach that number; with a 56-game season and missing time early on, that’s nearly impossible. That doesn’t underscore the achievements he keeps reaching, though, with that big 50-goal season still ahead, someday.
The 24-year-old got off to a late start but already has 16 points, nine of them goals, in just 11 games. In his last 84 games, he’s posted a whopping 115 points, and 82 of those are goals.
That’s ridiculous production. Part of that comes from his abundance of hat tricks; since 2016, Pastrnak has 10 of them, behind just Alex Ovechkin’s 12.
Ovechkin is just an edge ahead of David Pastrnak in a lot of stats, and that’s solid company. Since the 2017-18 season, Pastrnak trails only his Capitals counterpart (150) and Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews (136) in goals, with 130 of his own in that span. That’s ahead of other stars like Connor McDavid and Nathan MacKinnon.
There are so many numbers to put into context how much Pastrnak has meant to the Bruins and how he’s continued to ascend in the ranks of NHL stardom. That there’s so many at all without any cherry picking to find just a couple to illustrate that point speaks volumes.
His 5v5 goals per 60 is at 2.18. His Corsi for at 59.87% is just a hair above his career average. His goals for percentage is an astounding 68.42, and while his shooting percentage above 16.67 is certainly going to lower over time, he’s always worked with a high percentage.
There’s a number for everyone to buy in on Pastrnak; he’s not only the best scorer on the Bruins, and arguably their best homegrown player in a decade, but he’s also in the upper echelon of elite scorers in the entirety of the NHL.
In a league where the North Division’s finest in McDavid and Matthews are putting up video game numbers, maybe it gets lost on a broader scale how impressive David Pastrnak’s return has been.
If he keeps playing the way he has in his first nine games, that won’t last too long.