David Pastrnak is due for a massive game against the Maple Leafs

Photo credit:John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Arun Srinivasan
1 month ago
It is with zero pleasure that we, the undersigned at The Leafs Nation, report that Boston Bruins superstar David Pastrnak is due for an authoritative game. Pastrnak tortured the Maple Leafs during the regular season but he’s largely been kept in check through the first three games of the series, while the Bruins hold a 2-1 lead.
Toronto has generally minimized Pastrnak’s impact at 5-on-5 throughout the series. Pastrnak has only recorded two shots on 12 attempts at 5-on-5 and he’s been primarily matched up against the Matthew Knies-John Tavares-Mitch Marner line, with Jake McCabe and Simon Benoit monitoring him from the blue line. Both groups have scored one goal apiece at 5-on-5 although the Bruins shook up their forward corps for Game 3 and now Pastrnak will be primarily playing alongside Pavel Zacha and Jake DeBrusk on Saturday. During the regular season, where the Bruins swept the seasons series, DeBrusk-Zacha-Pastrnak combined for two goals, zero against with a 10-6 shot differential and a 56.4 percent share of the expected goals at 5-on-5 via Natural Stat Trick. It stands to reason that Knies-Tavares-Marner could be for a world of difficult against the revamped combo.
Pastrnak is an explosive talent, capable of getting his shot off from virtually anywhere. He scored his lone goal of the series in Game 2 when Knies, McCabe, Marner and Benoit all combined for a defensive blunder, where Zacha nutmegged McCabe with a brilliant pass that found Pastrnak alone in the dying seconds of the first period. Marner read the pass a split-second too late and it was in the back of the net. Toronto has largely eliminated Pastrnak’s ability to make plays in space but one false move — I guess four in actuality — leads to lethal consequences.
Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery doesn’t seem to think Pastrnak’s relative lack of production is an issue, for what it’s worth.
“First period, Pastrnak could have had two or three goals,” Montgomery said of Pastrnak via The Athletic’s Fluto Shinzawa. “One hit their defenseman that was going in. One he puts over the crossbar. He’s getting his looks. That line — I’m not going to talk about Pastrnak in particular — the more O-zone time they can get, the better it’s going to be for us.”
Pastrnak creates havoc from the threat of his shot and his ability to slip defenders from the wing. He hasn’t created at an all-world level just yet as the Bruins have relied on superior goaltending from Jeremy Swayman and a tour-de-force performance from Brad Marchand to take the series lead. Boston’s resident superstar is due for an explosion, a downright frightening proposition for a Toronto team with its back against the wall.

Check out these posts...