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Boston Bruins 2023-24 Season Report Cards: David Pastrnak – Hockey Writers – Boston Bruins

The Boston Bruins' century season is officially over. Although it did not secure a Stanley Cup Championship and gave the Bruins faithful another duck boat show, the season was not a complete failure. The organization celebrated 100 years of Bruins hockey and took a trip down memory lane. Several nights took place at TD Garden, where fans reminisced about different eras of Bruins hockey.

The Bruins had another 100-point season and finished second in the Atlantic Division. Now that the season is over, we can think about how the players performed and give them a grade for the season. Today's report card will be on star pitcher David Pastrnak.

Pastrnak is the Bruins' MVP

The Most Valuable Player Award was the obvious choice, as the winners were Nathan MacKinnon, Nikita Kucherov, and Connor McDavid. However, many candidates could have been finalists, such as Auston Matthews, who scored 69 goals for the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2023-24 season. Again, Pastrnak certainly made a case for the Hart Trophy but is, without a doubt, the most important player for the Bruins.

Related: Takeaways From Boston Bruins Exit Talks

Pastrnak led the Bruins in points (110) and goals (47) for the second straight season. He broke the expected mark of 37.5, which is a testament to his finishing ability. In addition, of his 63 assists, 39 were in the primary. Captain Brad Marchand was the next closest player in points, with 67, and goals, with 29. During the historic 2022-23 season, Pastrnak finished 46 points ahead of the next closest player and scored 34 more goals than the next closest player. It's safe to say, Pastrnak is important to the Bruins, and without him, things would be tough.

After seeing legendary centers in Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci retire, questions arose about how Pastrnak would perform. After all, these are the two institutions that he spent a lot of time playing with. Pastrnak did more than good despite their departure and put together his second straight 100-point season. The biggest key for him was that he wasn't a power play dealer. Of his 110 points, only 35 came on the power play, so he did a good job at five-on-five. Just as he flashed his lethal shooting and playmaking ability, Pastrnak elevated his defensive game.

David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins (Amy Irvin / Hockey Writers)

Playing alongside Bergeron and Krejci had its advantages, as they were responsible for the defense. In the 2022-23 season, Pastrnak finished second on the Bruins with 52 sacks. This past season, he led the Bruins with 54 takeaways and lowered his total. Turnovers will happen when you have the puck as Pastrnak has his stick. However, it's good to see him raise his game defensively. Pastrnak delivered another exciting regular season. Now, let's look at the postseason.

Pastrnak and His Playoff Run

In 13 games played, Pastrnak finished with four goals and eight points. He was the hero of the playoffs, scoring the game-winning goal in overtime against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 7.

In the qualifiers, Pastrnak got off to a great start as he had one point in each of the first five games. Credit to former head coach Sheldon Keefe and the Maple Leafs defense for making changes, as they held the Bruins to less than two goals in the remaining three games. The forward momentum in the series against the Panthers and Pastrnak was limited. He scored one goal and three points in six games.

The Panthers were a very good defensive team during the regular season and flexed that muscle in the second round against the Bruins. They controlled the game 5-on-5 with Pastrnak on the ice, and he had no room to breathe. From an offensive standpoint, Pastrnak posted only 4.07 expected goals on five-for-five. While that led the team, it was also a low event for everyone. You could argue that the team needs more of him, but credit the Panthers' defense for doing its job and limiting the Bruins' biggest weapon.

Pastrnak's Perfect Grade

Pastrnak is, without a doubt, the Bruins' biggest weapon and the team's best player. What he brings and the situations he is entrusted with are great. This is a player the team relies on for big goals and production, and he delivers.

He showed that he is worth every penny of that contract extension (8 years, $11.25M AAV) and why he is the face of this next wave of Bruins hockey. This team is not the same without Pastrnak, and he showed why this season.

Grade: A++

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