David Pastrnak’s struggles this postseason are nothing new to the city of Boston and the Bruin organization. After all, this is the same organization that grew tired of falling short with Joe Thornton on the roster in the early 2000’s, and the same organization that dumped Tyler Seguin following an awful performance in the 2013 Stanley Cup Final. Of course, Seguin had other things going on at the time in Boston and you don’t need me to rehash the rumors of what may or may not have happened during Tyler’s time here. What we do know is this, he simply didn’t show up in the Stanley Cup Final that year and it cost Boston a ring. If Seguin produces, Boston likely doesn’t blow a 2-1 series lead.
Ironically, the Bruins held a 2-1 lead in this series as well before dropping Game 4 on Monday night. Pastrnak, like Seguin before him, has completely disappeared in the biggest moment of his career. In fact, Pastrnak has been an enigma all playoff long. After an 81 point regular season (38g, 43a), Pasta has been up-and-down at best in the playoff. Yes, his overall numbers are solid (8g, 9a, 21 games) but he’s all but disappeared at times.
Although Pastrnak does have a goal and an assist on the powerplay in the Final, he’s been non-existent at five-on-five. As the calls evaporate, as they should at this time of year, the Bruins will need better five-on-five scoring. He simply is not giving the Bruins what they need at this time, and it very well could cost them.
I’ve made the comparison to Seguin, but want to clear something up before going any further. I’m in no way, shape or form insinuating that Pastrnak has a whole book of off-ice issues that we will hear about. I’m not questioning his commitment to the team and I’m not calling out his effort. My observation is simple here. Like Seguin before him, Pastrnak was counted on as Boston entered the Final, and he’s fallen short in the biggest moment.
Unless Pastrnak and the ‘Perfection Line’ of him, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand can figure things out at five-on-five, the Bruins are in trouble. With the injuries mounting on defense, Boston desperately needs their best players to wake up and be their best players. If not, Boston will look back on this spring as the greatest missed opportunity of this generation.
Like Thornton and Seguin before him, it all starts with Pastrnak, the player that is supposed to be the most skilled of the group.