This past Thursday night, all of us in Boston and throughout New England were made aware of some encouraging news from the Boston Bruins’ organization.
General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced during the game against the New York Rangers that rookie David Pastrnak will remain with the team for the rest of the year.
If you are a glass half-full person, than you can look at it as an excellent young piece to add to the roster. If you are a glass half-empty person, then you can look at this decision as desperate. Regardless, there is no doubt that they made the right choice.
The Bruins had to make the decision on the 18-year-old at the nine-game mark. If he played more than 10 games, then he would have to pass through waivers in order for him to be sent down to Providence. Through nine games this season, Pastrnak has five points (which includes four goals in two games). Bottom line is this: the Bruins would not be on their five-game winning streak if it were not for Pastrnak. The Bruins do have to use up the first year of his deal this year, but that is a bullet they are willing to take.
All season long, the Bruins were in desperate search for a top-line winger to play alongside David Krejci and Milan Lucic. They tried to experiment “in-house” with Seth Griffith and Craig Cunningham, and also tried a never-forgotten Simon Gagne who is not with the team anymore due to personal reasons.
Literally, nothing was gelling. With the trade market being dubbed as “weak” and the lack of cap room to take on another big contract, the Bruins made the only choice they had…and it was the right one.
Pastrnak has great speed and skill to go along with some gritty play. Yes, he may be a bit undersized at 6’ 0”, 167 lbs. for a scoring forward, but the young Czech phenomenon has the talent to put the puck in the net.
He is becoming beloved by the B’s faithful on social media and at the TD Garden during home games. There is no question that there would have been an uprising if Pastrnak was sent back down to Providence.
The element that may have solidified him staying was the praise from head coach Claude Julien, saying how responsible he is in his own zone. With Julien’s defensive system always a precedent (even with talented goal scorers), Pastrnak fits the modifiable goal scorer that he loves.
Well, since the kid is staying, this is what the Bruins will look like at full health for the rest of the year. Is it enough to win the Stanley Cup? Possibly. With the permanent addition of Pastrnak, the Bruins are solid enough to climb in the Eastern Conference. They sit in seventh place in the East with 54 points and they are still at a disappointing 21st in the league with a 2.6 goals per game average.
We all were aware of how awful the month of December was for Boston, so January marks the dawning of a new calendar year for the Bruins and Pastrnak is the player to boost morale. This is the team we expected to see in October.