David Pastrnak pushes his way through the crisis

When you think about David Pastrnakof the game, different things can come to mind.

Maybe it’s the speed. Maybe it’s the elbow one-timer. For the cranky in the crowd, it might be the ambitious moves that he doesn’t always pull off.

But the engine that drives it all is the bubbling, effervescent joy it has for the game. And like the only time Richard rocket The trophy winner struggled through the first seven games of the season, Pastrnak concedes he hasn’t had quite the same rebound in his stride.

With four days between games and three practices, Pastrnak said he aimed to rectify that when asked what he planned to focus on in this week’s practice sessions.

“I mostly have fun and get better every day, I work hard and that’s when I do the best, feel the best and play the best hockey, that I have fun and I’m having fun, ”said Pastrnak, who has 2 3-5 totals in seven games. “It’s definitely a good workout today and I had a lot of fun. I’m going to take advantage of Halloween tonight and get back to work on Tuesday.

He looked a lot like the old Sunday “Pasta” at Warrior Ice Arena, especially at the end of practice when he scored the match winner in a two-on-one backhand scrum, igniting the sur- typical type of his team. the celebration at the top. He was also the same engaging and playful guy when chatting with the small group of reporters after practice.

But Pastrnak and his girlfriend, Rebecca, suffered a stroke over the summer that only a few people can relate to when their toddler son, Viggo Rohl, died just six days after birth.

He addressed the loss in a statement to reporters at training camp, thanking everyone who showed their support. Beyond that, he asked reporters not to ask him questions about his personal loss, a request that was respected.

It doesn’t change what he went through. Coach Bruce cassidy, addressing some of Pastrnak’s early struggles on the ice, said he was playing a bit of ‘catching up’, referring to how long it took him in the offseason to cope with the tragedy.

“I think he’s had a tough summer and needed some time to get away. He deserved that, him and Becky, so I think he walked away from the game for a while while other guys (were more hip), ”Cassidy said. “I can’t speak for David, it’s just how I feel for him and I think part of it is that it might have affected what some of his typical training days would look like. At the end of the day, I think there is still a bit of that, both mentally and physically. And like I said, I’m 100% behind him. He will be fine. He’s going to play through it. He’s too good as a person and obviously too good as a player, so everything will be fine. I know he will be fine. He will be a good player for us.

So it’s no surprise that in Sunday practice Cassidy had Pastrnak skate in the back with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand after dropping him down a line in Saturday’s 3-2 shootout win. The coach also expects Pastrnak to be there when the B’s play against the Red Wings again on Thursday.

But catching up, Cassidy believes Pastrnak kept his best weapon – his shot – too often in his holster, despite leading the team with 31 shots.

“It seems he’s looking to make plays right now more than shoot and I guess for guys like us watching how good he is shooting the puck you’re like ‘Why?’ He’s such a good shot, ”Cassidy said. “But he’s a creative player. He wants to play games, he wants to shoot when the opportunity arises. I just think he strayed a bit from the net. He had pucks that bounce normally, especially here. I think our ice cream, especially because of the weather, is not as crispy as it will be. It could also have something to do with it. But he will get better. He cares and he wants to get better. He’s in a good mood, it’s just a matter of translating it on the ice, of the shot-for-pass mentality. Sometimes players go through this stretch.

Guilty as accused, conceded Pastrnak.

“Yeah absolutely. But that’s the way I am,” Pastrnak said. “Even though I’m a shooter I always look for the pass first. I would definitely take that out of my game, even do it and take the good decisions.… This is one of the times when things don’t turn out the way you want them to. Sometimes you pass instead of shooting, or the other way around. But I still like to set myself up, but I have to come back a bit more shooting and getting opportunities, thinking shooting first, especially when things are going a bit slower as usual.

Pastrnak didn’t seem too worried, however. Now 25 and in his eighth season in the NHL, he believes he has developed a memory bank large enough to break through.

“I’ve had a few failures in my career so I’m pretty sure I have enough experience to know how to handle this these days,” Pastrnak said. “I know it’s going to come, so I’m just concentrating on having fun and these two days are a good time, so I’m pretty sure you’ll be okay.”

this and that

After missing three games before returning on Saturday, Craig smith was entitled to a day of maintenance on Sunday. …

Cassidy said that Nick foligno (upper body) has resumed skating, but not yet with the team. There is still no target date for a return.

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