David Pastrnak is off to an historic start to the season with a NHL-leading 25 goals in 28 games.
This week on The Skate Podcast, Kevin Paul Dupont, Hall-of-Fame hockey writer for the Boston Globe, joined co-hosts Ken Laird and Matt Kalman for a wide-ranging discussion about the Bruins star forward, David Krejci, possible landing spots for Taylor Hall and the ongoing troubling stories that are coming out about some high-profile former and current NHL coaches.
When asked to provide some historic perspective for what Pastrnak has been accomplishing, Dupont offered up three names that any young NHL player would appreciate.
“Well certainly Phil Esposito in terms of volume of goals here and the possible trajectory, which is obviously a tricky game. But I would say the difference of course, Esposito a center. [Cam> Neely is probably the better comparison. Neely, who scored 50 three times going by memory here, Neely was similar in terms of played right side. Didn’t show up in as many places on the ice as Pastrnak does, but the game was different. The game was more linear and north, south, straight ahead. Certainly on the power play, Pastrnak roams a lot more.
“Thinking this through this morning, and frankly something I wish I had included in the column today, I think what really separates Pastrnak is his release. And it reminds me most of – and I know probably a fair number of your listeners didn’t see his career – which is Mike Bossy. So Bossy who scored 50 goals nine straight times as I remember, had what I thought was the quickest release. What I always thought was the puck’s off his stick before he even gets it, and certainly that is Pastrnak’s main point of delivery and you know a patent almost on being somewhere around that that left faceoff circle and ripping it very much reminds me of Bossy.”
Ken went back and reviewed every Pastrnak goal this season to note their location and the type of shot. You’ll have to listen to hear the entire breakdown, but the results showed Pastrnak has been scoring in a diverse number of ways.
Before talking to Kevin, the guys talked about Jaroslav Halak.
“He’s going to cost Tuukka Rask a Vezina because he’s playing so well and working against his great numbers on the year,” Ken said. “They repeatedly say he’s a No. 1, [Bruce> Cassidy keeps saying this is a No. 1 goaltender, and if that’s the case he’s going to be seeking that kind of money this year.”
Ken and Matt debated whether Halak would want to come back for the same money, in addition to what it will take to keep Krejci.
“He’ll be the one that has to take a pay cut to stay here because of the big deal he’s had,” Matt said.
“That’ll be an interesting one down the road to see if he’s willing to take the pay cut to stay here. … Plus, how far in term are you going to go. … That might be a situation where you just can’t keep him.”