David Pastrnak might be just a few days into his 26th year on earth, but he’s already in the process of rewriting the Bruins’ record books.
The three-goal outburst was Pastrnak’s second career playoff hat trick, joining the likes of Phil Esposito (four), Cam Neely (three), Johnny Bucyk (three) and David Krejci (two) with multiple playoff hat tricks.
“Playing for an organization like the Boston Bruins with all the history and great players and Hall of Famers, it’s obviously a huge honor for me,” Pastrnak said after the game. “Hopefully I can add some more.”
Only six other players have recorded at least two postseason hat tricks before age 26: Jake Guentzel, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Patrick Marleau, Sean Couturier and some guy named Sidney Crosby.
Tremendous company all around.
Here are more notes from Boston’s Game 1 win.
— Pastrnak wasn’t the only first liner who showed out for the Bruins. He got plenty of support from Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron. That line continues to be as close to unstoppable as you can get.
— Much has been made about the Islanders’ formidable forecheck and for good reason. But we also saw Saturday night that the Bruins should have their way with the Isles if they’re able to break the forecheck. When Boston got the puck in New York’s zone, it went to work. The Bruins were downright dominant 5-on-5, out-attempting New York 58-30 with 12 high-danger chances to just two for the Islanders, per Natural Stat Trick.
— The Islanders aren’t too concerned — yet.
“They are a volume-shooting team, they shoot from a lot of bad angles and try to create havoc, and traffic in front,” Isles defenseman Andy Greene explained after the game, per the team’s website. “It’s something we can do a bit better, but we’re not too concerned about it.”
Here’s the thing, though: If New York goalie Ilya Sorokin doesn’t clean up his rebounds, which were a massive problem in Game 1, it’s going to be hard to contain the Bruins, especially if they’re putting that many shots on net.
— It had to have felt good for Taylor Hall to get the late empty-net goal. Once again, the second-line winger was a menace for the B’s. Hall put five of his eight shots on net, including the goal, and now has three goals and an assist in six playoff games for Boston.
— The win was Bruce Cassidy’s 32nd playoff victory behind the Boston bench, tying Art Ross for second all-time in B’s history. Next up on the list: Claude Julien, who won 57 games for Boston.
— The Bruins suffered a massive scare midway through the second period when defenseman Matt Grzeclyk was on the receiving end of a bone-rattling hit from Islanders winger Leo Komarov. The hit left Grzelcyk folded along the boards below the Bruins’ goal line, and he gingerly skated to the bench. B’s trainer Don DelNegro checked out Grzelcyk, eventually making the decision for the D-man to go to the dressing room.
However, Grzelcyk only missed a few minutes of game time, eventually returning. Losing a player like Grzelcyk, who is probably Boston’s best puck-handler/mover in his own end, would be brutal against the Islanders’ forecheck. He was good defensively, too, breaking up an early 2-on-1 with B’s killer Kyle Palmieri bearing down in the first period.
— Saturday was playoff game No. 151 for B’s center David Krejci. That moves him into sole possession of second place on the team’s all-time list. That’s impressive longevity for a player who far too often is overlooked for his contributions in the last decade and a half.
— Jeremy Swayman: man of the people