The Boston Bruins will enter the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs with a great chance to win their seventh championship.
In fact, oddsmakers view the Bruins as the co-favorites with the Tampa Bay Lightning to win the Stanley Cup.
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If the Bruins are going to get back to the Stanley Cup Final after a heartbreaking Game 7 loss to the St. Louis Blues last season, David Pastrnak likely will be a driving force in that effort.
Pastrnak posted a career-high 48 goals and 95 points in 71 games during the regular season. He was the co-winner of the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy with Washington Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin.
Pastrnak isn't one of those players who dominates in the regular season but fails to perform at a high level in the playoffs.
He's tallied 43 points (17 goals, 26 assists) in 42 career postseason games. These offensive numbers have put the right winger in a special group of active players who've scored at a point-per-game rate or better in the playoffs before age 25.
Co-winner of the 2019-20 Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy, @pastrnak96 is one of six active players to average at least 1.00 P/GP in the #StanleyCup Playoffs before age 25 (min. 40 GP). #NHLStats: https://t.co/t3eFd0ByNu pic.twitter.com/rKGxQ1YWpr
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) June 15, 2020
Pastrnak posted 19 points (nine goals, 10 assists) in Boston's 24 playoff games last season. He scored twice in the seven-game Cup Final series versus the Blues, although he tallied only two points (one goal, one assist) in the last four games. The B's lost three of those four matchups, including Game 5 and Game 7 at home. Pastrnak, in his defense, wasn't at 100 percent health late in the playoffs. He missed more than a month of games earlier in the regular season after suffering a left thumb injury in February, and he re-aggravated it in the second round versus the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Health has not been an issue for Pastrnak this season, and he's taken his game to a superstar level. The next challenge is maintaining that scoring pace into the playoffs, where the Bruins will be on a mission after last season's disappointing finish.
"Huge motivation," Pastrnak told reporters Monday. "Last season was an unbelievable experience for me. I don't think I would be where I'm at without last year. But obviously we had a great season and I think we were a better team than last year. We'll see."