Bruins

As David Pastrnak continues to torment defenses, look for opponents to bring the pain in effort to slow down Bruins’ top sniper

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

All David Backes could do was shake his head. 

“He's playing a video game out there,” he said. “I don't know what's wrong with that guy. ... I don't have words."

The Bruins’ veteran forward was referring to teammate David Pastrnak, who, with a howitzer of a shot, tallied his 25th goal of the 2019-20 campaign during Boston’s 3-1 victory over the Canadiens Sunday night. 

Pastrnak’s tallies — enough to satisfy many NHLers over the course of an entire season — have been racked up in just 27 games. For reference, back in 2014-15, Brad Marchand led the Bruins in goals scored with 24 ALL YEAR (77 games). 

Pastrnak doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon, with the 23-year-old sniper standing as just the 11th player in NHL history to score 25+ goals in a season through games played on Dec. 1, and the first since Mario Lemieux back on 1992-93. 

Given his stat line, it’s a fair assumption that many defenses have tried in vain when it comes to keeping a player of Pastrnak’s caliber contained in the offensive zone. 

Want to clog up his shooting lanes and take away with the middle of the ice? He’s got the hands and skating ability to bring the puck to your doorstep and cash in down low. 

https://twitter.com/ConorRyan_93/status/1186790698181369859

Maybe stack up a body or two at the blue line in order to prevent him from getting a clean entry? Easier said than done.

https://twitter.com/ConorRyan_93/status/1195859636810854407

Leave him alone at the left circle? Well, duh. You’re asking for trouble.

https://twitter.com/ConorRyan_93/status/1188239773678354432

And, as was the case on Sunday night, sometimes you just have to shrug your shoulders when a missile like this sails into your net. 

But for most of Sunday's matchup, Montreal opted for a simpler strategy when it came to trying to slow Pastrnak down. Namely, kick the snot out of him.