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It's simple: David Pastrnak shoots, so David Pastrnak should stay

The Bruins have a number of patient, creative players, but lack a true triggerman. Reilly Smith has shown flashes, as has Matt Fraser. But David Pastrnak appears to be the only one ready to shoot with abandon, making him all the more valuable to this team.

Harry How/Getty Images

The David Pastrnak experiment is nearly half over: four NHL games are in the books, meaning five remain before the Bruins and Pastrnak have to decide if he's staying in the NHL, going back to Providence or going back to Sweden.

The primary concern prior to the teenager's debut was his size: could he stand up to the physical standard of play in the NHL? Thus far, he's done fine. Sure, he's gotten muscled off the puck a few times, and knocked down a few more. However, he doesn't look any more outmatched than, say, Torey Krug, another small player.

Pastrnak's merits can be debated all day long, and arguments can be made for keeping him ("he won't get more used to the NHL in Sweden!) and letting him go home ("he needs to bulk up!").

The best argument for keeping him, however, is simple:

The kid shoots the puck. A lot.

Like, a lot a lot.

Since putting up 0's across the board in that 7:53 TOI coaching disaster against Pittsburgh, Pastrnak has recorded 12 shots on goal in just three games, including a whopping seven against Winnipeg alone. If one includes shot attempts, Pastrnak's number goes up to 15 to account for three shots that missed the net.

"Big deal," you say. "He hasn't scored."

Right you are, he hasn't found the back of the net yet. However, what he provides is nearly as valuable: he's a true triggerman, something the Bruins have lacked since Tyler Seguin was traded (and Phil Kessel before him). Pastrnak is a shoot-first winger, something this team desperately needs.

Consider the Bruins' best forwards: Patrice Bergeron actually shoots quite a bit, but is leaned on more for his all-around game. Carl Soderberg has great hands, but doesn't shoot a ton. It seems like David Krejci hardly ever shoots (though numbers don't necessarily back this up). Same for Loui Eriksson.

These pass-first players, many of whom have world class hockey sense and make passes they have no business making, need someone who's willing to say "screw it" and shoot, not someone who's going to make the extra pass.

Enter Pastrnak.

As Jack and Brick were discussing last night, Pastrnak holds his stick in such a way that he's always a mere flick of the wrists away from a shot. This shoot-first mentality allows him to get off shots that others couldn't, or wouldn't dare to try.

Pastrnak is getting the puck on (or towards) the net at a prolific rate, and there are numbers to back it up.

First, some caveats: The sample size is quite small. Pastrnak has benefited from having good linemates. He gets favorable zone starts (though that's been changing). These numbers probably won't remain this elevated for the rest of the season.

Here, I looked at iShots/60 (the number of shots Pastrnak alone gets per 60 minutes of TOI), iFenwick/60 (shots and shot attempts by Pastrnak per 60 minutes of TOI) and iCorsi/60 (same as previous, but including blocked shots). Then, I looked at how those numbers rank on both the Bruins and in the NHL as a whole (with a minimum of 20 minutes 5v5 TOI, just to let in as many players as possible).

Pastrnak's number Rank on Bruins Rank in NHL
iShots/60 15.43 1st 2nd
iCorsi/60 28.30 1st 1st
iFenwick/60 23.15 1st 1st

Whoa. Again, glaring caveat: Pastrnak has only skated around 50 minutes of 5v5 TOI, which is what the above numbers account for. This doesn't include PP TOI at all, and it's much harder to maintain an elevated iShots/60 number over, say, 350 minutes.

What this does tell us, however, is that Pastrnak is incredibly good at getting the puck towards the net. Let's compare his iShots/60 number to those of his closest teammates.

Pastrnak 15.43
Bergeron 9.96
Chara 8.25
Marchand 7.78
Krejci 7.72
Fraser 7.03
Smith 6.56

Pastrnak is firing off nearly six more shots per 60 minutes of TOI than his closest competitor, and nearly nine more than a player like Smith, who is viewed as a shooter.

Why does this matter? Because the Bruins need a guy like Pastrnak, someone who can get his shot off in tight spaces and isn't afraid to do so.

Think back to one of the more effective lines in recent Bruins memory: Marc Savard centering Milan Lucic and Phil Kessel (and sometimes Michael Ryder, I believe). What does that line have? A playmaker, a spacemaker and a shooter.

The Bruins hoped to find that in a new "Lucic-Krejci-Somebody?" line this year, but Loui Eriksson proved hesitant to shoot at times and Seth Griffith did something to Claude Julien to continue to earn bus tickets to Providence.

The same fit can be made on Lucic-Soderberg-Pastrnak line, and even Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak to a lesser degree.

A guy like Lucic opens up space for a playmaker like Soderberg. If he can get the puck to Pastrnak, shots will follow. Lucic will be free to roam the slot, picking up any rebounds and shoveling them on goal. Easy. Where's my consulting fee, Bruins?

The point is, Pastrnak has come as advertised thus far: He's a skilled kid who LOVES to shoot. He's doing all of this shooting without having scored. Imagine the kind of shot numbers he could put up as his confidence increases?

Pastrnak is young, he's small, he's light. But he's also talented, fast, and unafraid to get the puck on net. The Bruins need more of that, and need to see what this kid can do beyond nine games.

Call Sodertalje and tell them he's staying. Shots for everyone!

All numbers courtesy of the great