David Pastrnak can’t be tamed
Through the first two games of this series, the Leafs have struggled to stop the Bruins offense, giving up 12 goals so far. Specifically, the Leafs have not been able to find a way to slow down David Pastrnak, who now has 9 points this series after his 6 point explosion on Saturday night. To say that the 21-year old Czech has been on fire is an understatement.
Pastrnak has become one of the most valuable players on the Bruins since they drafted him 25th overall in 2014. Playing on the top line alongside Marchand and Bergeron, he’s shown that he is one of the elite forwards in the NHL. Over the last two seasons he has 150 points, tied for 13th in the league with the player that he has replaced on that Bruins top line: Tyler Seguin.
After registering a career high in goals (35), assists (45) and points (80) this season, Pastrnak’s play has reached another level so far in the playoffs. There was a lot of talk about how good that top line of the Bruins can be, but I can’t think anybody could’ve predicted just how much damage they could do.
When the Leafs showed some signs of life later in the game, it was the top line who connected twice in the 3rd, with Pastrnak finishing off both plays to put the game away and give the Bruins the 2-0 series lead. While the lead is nice, the Bruins need to be careful to not overlook the Leafs in Game 3. As lopsided as the score was for Game 2, the play on the ice was much closer. The Bruins were outshot, had less time on attack, and uncharacteristically were dominated in the faceoff circle, winning only 39% of the draws.
The series shifts to Toronto on Monday night, where Mike Babcock will likely try to find a matchup that can slow down the trio of Pastrnak, Marchand and Bergeron, but with the way things have looked so far this series that’s much easier said than done. In the mean time, sit back, relax, and watch #88 light up the Leafs one more time.