Is there any way of stopping the Czech-mate?

There’s been some recent chatter this week surrounding opposing teams’ strategies to shutdown Bruins star forward, David Pastrnak.

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The Bruins superstar sniper and native of Havirov, Czech Republic David Pastrnak currently leads the entire NHL with 25 goals scored this season. He’s on pace to tie Phil Esposito’s 1970-1971 franchise record of 76 goals scored. Pastrnak is the eighth player in the last 30 years to reach the 25-goal mark in 28 or fewer games. He is also just the first Bruins player to score 25 goals, since the iconic Phil Esposito did it back on Dec 15, 1974. Up to this juncture of the season, no team has been able to “consistently stop” David Pastrnak from achieving that elusive milestone. Most recently, the New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens implemented similar strategies in order to thwart the scoring prowess of the Bruins superstar. Both teams used their abrasive, physical play to try and wear down Pastrnak, but to no avail. Pastrnak retaliated back by scoring a goal in the 3rd period of each game en route to victory. Whether David Pastrnak is playing alongside fellow countryman David Krejci or Patrice Bergeron, he seems to adjust to either player’s positional strengths in order to perform at a relatively, consistent rate.

Of course, this amazing scoring pace that Pastrnak is on will ultimately have its bumps in the road throughout the duration of the season. Head coach, Bruce Cassidy was interviewed yesterday afternoon by inside reporters regarding Pastrnak’s treatment and said, “When you’re a better player, that happens. He’ll just have to keep his head up a little more. There were a couple of hits against the Rangers and Montreal the other night that were borderline late. You hope that the league takes care of the players when those situations happen. But he just needs to be ready for it. That’s just the way it is. When you’re a good player you just get targeted more. If you don’t want to get hit that often or get targeted, be an average player. I don’t mean that to be disrespectful, but that’s the way it goes.”

The Bruins will need to have consistent secondary scoring from the other 3 lines, in order to pick up the slack if Pastrnak occasionally has some off-night performances. A perfect example of this much-needed secondary scoring was during last night’s game. The Carolina Hurricanes did a commendable job keeping Pastrnak in-check all night. Yet, it was the timely late goals by Charlie Coyle and David Krejci that broke the goose eggs, as each player scored a goal late in the 3rd period that the Bruins desperately needed in the 2-0 victory.

*Article written by Travis Hauer