When was the last time you saw a goal-scoring talent like David Pastrnak don a black-and-gold sweater?
Sure, there have been higher point producers over the years. Adam Oates racked up 142 points during the 1992-93 campaign, and that blueliner with No. 4 stamped across the back was pretty good when he had the puck on his stick.
But whether it be the eye test or the numbers etched on the box score, you could make the case that the 23-year-old winger is the most talented sniper to enter the Bruins’ ranks since Phil Esposito served as the bane of many netminders’ livelihoods during the ‘60s and ‘70s.
The stats certainly speak for themselves.
With his hat trick on Wednesday night against the Canadiens, Pastrnak surpassed the 40-goal threshold for the first time in his young career, reaching 41 through just 59 games during the 2019-20 campaign.
It marked the fourth hat trick this season for Pastrnak, becoming just the second Bruin in history to secure at least four over the course of one year. (Esposito had seven hatties during the 1970-71 season).
"It's news to me,” Pastrnak said postgame following Boston’s 4-1 win over the Habs. “Obviously, a huge honor, especially in an organization like the Bruins. Couldn't have done it without my teammates.”
At this point, there’s not much else that needs to be said about Pastrnak and his goal-scoring accolades. After leapfrogging both Alex Ovechkin and Auston Matthews on the leaderboard for top scorer in the NHL, it seems like a given at this point that Pastrnak (barring injury) will become the sixth Bruin to surpass 50 goals in a year — and the first since Cam Neely famously tallied 50 in 44 games back in ‘93-94.
But on a night in which Pastrnak continued to stake his claim as the next great goal scorer in the NHL, perhaps the most encouraging development was found down the other end of the ice.