Over/Under is a season preview series with a pretty simple concept: pick some kind of number and predict whether or not the player will be over or under that mark. Discuss.
For whatever reason, numbers that end in 0 and 5 always seem better when it comes to scoring. “20 goals” seems miles better than 19, even if they’re just a goal apart. Then we have 25, 30, 35, and one of the more magic numbers: 40.
Reaching 40 goals is a pretty prestigious accomplishment in the NHL. Sure, guys occasionally hit 50, but 40 is a milestone.
Last season, David Pastrnak came about as close to hitting the 40-goal mark as a Bruin has come in a while (save for Brad Marchand scoring 39 in 2017). The B’s haven’t had a 40+ goal scorer in nearly two decades, which is a pretty long time.
Over/Under: 40 goals for David Pastrnak
Predicting specific numbers is a fool’s errand, but hey, it’s preseason. It’s easy to look at a guy’s past performance and assume he’ll be able to replicate it without too much trouble.
If that’s the case, David Pastrnak should be a slam dunk for 40 goals. Last season, Pastrnak scored 38 in the regular season. However, those 38 goals were scored in just 66 games. If he maintained that pace over a full 82-game regular season, he’d score 47 goals.
Of course, maintaining a pace like that isn’t exactly easy. Pastrnak has gone through peaks and valleys when it comes to goal-scoring, so if he goes on a bit of a dry spell, that pace goes out the window.
He stays healthy. Pastrnak will likely get first-line offensive minutes all season, and will continue to set up camp in the faceoff circle on the power play. That’s where he’s going to earn his living, as he scored 17 of his 38 regular season goals on the power play.
It’d be too easy to just say “if he gets hurt” here, but that’d be too similar to the reasoning above. Another possibility: he gets shuffled around the line-up. Pastrnak benefited from consistently playing with Marchand and Patrice Bergeron last season.
While David Krejci is no slouch, Pastrnak may need time to gel with him should Bruce Cassidy choose to break up that first line. Going from Bergeron to Krejci isn’t a significant downgrade when it comes to offensive playmaking, and the two Czechs should get along just fine.
Still, it helps when you have two other elite talents on your line to draw defensive responsibilities.
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Regular season goal total for David Pastrnak this season will be...
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