BOSTON — Different hockey players choose to spend their offseasons in different ways. David Pastrnak’s plan for the summer of 2016 is a simple one.
“To get better at hockey, I guess,” the 19-year-old Bruins winger said Monday morning, two days after his team was eliminated from playoff contention.
In what areas, specifically?
Well, there you have it.
Pastrnak’s second NHL season was a mixed bag. Injuries limited him to just 51 games, but he still managed to notch 15 goals, tied with Matt Beleskey for fifth-most on the team. He seemed to be one of Boston’s more engaged players over its disastrous final stretch — scoring goals in three of his final four games — but had other spells in which he was benched and/or called out by coach Claude Julien for inconsistency or poor puck management.
The 2014 first-round draft pick also bounced around the lineup throughout the season, seeing time on the second, third and fourth lines as Julien searched for the spot where his talents would be best utilized.
“It was a little frustrating because of a couple of injuries,” said Pastrnak, adding that he now feels “100 percent.”
“But in the end, I feel like I got a little better.”
Though Pastrnak had success putting the puck in the net over the season’s final few games, the rest of the team did not. The Bruins lost nine of their final 12 contests and scored one goal or less in six of those losses to finish outside the Stanley Cup playoff picture for the second time in as many years.
Pastrnak scored the lone Bruins goal Saturday in the 6-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators that ended Boston’s season.
“It’s disappointing, and all we can do now is move on, you know?” said Pastrnak, who tallied 11 assists to go along with his 15 goals. “Have a hard-working summer and come back stronger.”
Thumbnail photo via Robert Mayer/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Boston Bruins left wing David Pastrnak