Not everything can be perfect. Staying persistent, however, might help you achieve what your goals. That’s something that David Pastrnak can tell himself after the best season of his career, though the preceding 80-point seasons were impressive enough.
At the end of this shortened NHL season, Pastrnak was on the verge of reaching 100 points and 50 goals. That would be a historic achievement for the Boston Bruins’ forward. Only five Bruins players before Pastrnak have netted 50 goals in a single season: Phil Esposito, Cam Neely, Ken Hodge, Rick Middleton, and John Bucyk.
The last player to accomplish such a feat was Neely, the Bruins’ current president, who did so in 1994. After 26 years of waiting, Pastrnak likely would have joined this famous club.
“That’s the benchmark a goal scorer looks at, is to get 50, right? You look at the history of this organization, and the players who have played here and a lot of really good hockey players,” Neely told The Athletic.
But was Pastrnak himself bothered by not getting reaching that number?
“To be honest, it’s a little sad,” Pastrnak said in an online conference call earlier in June. “But at the same time, I was actually more mad about the 100 points than 50, to be honest. Overall, it was a good season. Sometimes in the world, things happen that you can’t control. That’s what happened.”
“Nobody’s done it since Cam, and it’s a great feat,” Middleton said of Neely. “It’s a very limited crowd in the history of the game that got to 50 goals.”
After not even scoring 40 goals over the course of his first four NHL seasons, Pastrnak looked like a sure bet to surpass 50-goal mark this season. However, it seems highly unlikely that this will be the only opportunity he will ever have. His ability to shoot the puck is eye-catching, and the 24-year-old still has great teammates like Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron to help him.
“I don’t want to take anything away from anyone, but it’s the first time I’m playing with a 40-goal scorer, never mind more than that. He’s been amazing, especially at such a young age,” said Bergeron.
“He’s been able to improve and play that way. He’s becoming a superstar in this league and for years to come, too. Hopefully, he keeps improving, which is kind of scary,” Bergeron said.
“He has that mindset where he wants to get better and improve. Future looks bright for him.”