Bruins’ Pastrnak Heading to His First All-Star Game
By Marisa Ingemi
David Pastrnak has made a name for himself in Boston.
On one of the biggest hockey stages, the Winter Classic, he did so again. Not just with his on-ice performance, but his bizarre celebration.
At the end of January, he’ll be taking, as Bruce Cassidy put it, his “all-world personality” to San Jose to play on another large NHL stage at the All Star Game.
Who knows what kind of goal celebration he’ll unveil.
“I was a little thrown off,” Brad Marchand said of Pastrnak, who was named an Atlantic Division All-Star for the first time on Wednesday. “I’ve never seen him do that before.”
Pastrnak flapped his arms after scoring in the Bruins’ 4-2 win against the Blackhawks, one of his more flashy moments of the season. There was a method to the madness.
“I was trying to do (LeBron James’ dance), but it didn’t work,” Pastrnak said. “I do that when we’re warming up off ice, when we play two-touch and stuff. It’s just a fun thing.”
Marchand said, “Well, Pasta and LeBron are very similar.”
Maybe Pastrnak’s not to hockey what LeBron is to basketball, but hey, they’re both All-Stars.
The All-Star Game is all about the flash, and Pastrnak has brought some to a Bruins team that, despite tremendous players like Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara, has lacked it the past few seasons.
But more than the celebrations and the flair, Pastrnak’s 50-points in 40 games are a big reason the Bruins have stayed afloat in the playoff race despite the plethora of injuries that have come their way.
It’s easy to remember the big moments of Tuesday’s win at Notre Dame, especially Sean Kuraly leaping into the boards after scoring the winning goal, but Pastrnak’s power-play tally in the first period tied the game at 1, and he assisted Bergeron’s tying goal in the second, also on the man-advantage.
The Bruins needed the points, and as usual, Pastrnak delivered.
“You have these kinds of players that are your best players, and definitely they showed it tonight,” Chara said of Pastrnak, Bergeron and Marchand, who had an empty-netter. “Obviously they all scored. They were obviously a big part of our win. That’s been like that for most of our season.”
Pastrnak is one of two Bruins (David Krejci) who have played in every game this season. That might not be notable in other years, but injuries have been a huge problem. Even Bergeron and Marchand have missed time.
Pastrnak has produced through it all. Even more impressive, he’s been extremely consistent, with 25 points in the season’s first 20 games and 25 in the next 20. If he stays healthy, he should have no problem passing his career high of 80 points, set last season.
The bigger the stage, starting with the playoffs last spring, the more Pastrnak shines. He’ll take that trait to San Jose for now, but the Bruins hope it goes a lot further.