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  • David Pastrnak reportedly getting called up after shining in Providence

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    David Pastrnak reportedly getting called up after shining in Providence

    Tim Rosenthal November 23, 2014

    PROVIDENCE – In his first month and a half of playing in professional hockey, David Pastrnak is already making the most of his early opportunity. And yet another opportunity seems to be calling as Kirk Leudeke reports that the Black and Gold will call up the 18-year old prior to Monday’s contest with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

    The Bruins’ first round pick in 2014 was one of the final cuts during Boston’s training camp. Even though he was set back with an injury, Pastrnak lasted until the final week of the pre-season before being sent down to Providence.

    In his first month with the Baby Bruins, Pastrnak earned his stripes as one of the top prospects in the system. The Czech forward, who idolized fellow country man and Bruins assistant captain David Krejci growing up, earned AHL Rookie of the Month honors for the month of October. During that first month of action, Pastrnak tallied 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in nine games and earned a plus-9 ratings, helping Providence to a 6-2-1 mark.

    “Hockey is a little bit different here. It’s a smaller ice surface and it’s faster,” Pastrnak said after tallying a goal and an assist in the P-Bruins 4-1 win over the Hartford Wolf Pack on Friday night at the Dunkin Donuts Center. “It’s something new. I’ve been used to everything in Europe and now I’m trying to do my best in the North American game.

    In the back of his mind, Pastrnak was paying attention to the injuries and roster shuffling in Providence.

    “I think about it, and you never know, never say never,” Pastrnak said about the potential opportunity of making the trip up I-95 north. “It can happen any day, or it may not happen. But at the end of the day, I just try to focus on my game and do my best.”

    Over the last month and a half, Pastrnak has gotten acquainted to the shorter North American ice surface compared to the Olympic sheet he skated on while playing his junior hockey in his home country of the Czech Republic. Aside from adjusting to a more physical brand of play, Pastrnak’s transition has been pretty smooth.

    Sure, Pastrnak has been struggling to generate some offense down in Providence in the last few games. But he makes up for it with his speed, his balance and his ability to improvise and create chances on the fly.

    Pastrnak’s ability to make something out of nothing might not be ideal in the NHL level, where he’ll need to keep his game simple. But that’s something that he and P-Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy have been working on during his first month and a half.

    “He’s a kid who goes into traffic and competes hard every night,” Cassidy said. “He’s 18 years old and the body is holding up to the rigors of three [games] in three [nights]. It’s something that he’s not used to and it’s something at his age to keep pushing.”

    “He’s gotta find a balance and it’s gonna get harder against better players,” Cassidy added about Pastrnak trying to improvise. “But he’s still a very high plus player for us, and at the end of the day, he’s doing more good than harm in those situations. That’s the way I look at it, and he just has to learn by experience in ‘what can I get away with, what’s the score [of the game], time and score situations, so he’s still trying to figure those things out.”

    Pastrnak’s improvements won’t come overnight, particularly when it comes to his defensive play. At the same time, it’s an area where he takes pride in learning to develop his craft before making it to the big stage.

    “Definitely, defensive zone,” the first words that came out of Pastrnak’s mouth when asked about the improvements he needs to work on. “But we have a lot of practicing and I’m trying to develop that myself to get better.”

    Luckily for Pastrnak, he’s been learning the ropes from a few fellow players who have already made the trip to Boston during their careers.

    On Friday night, Pastrnak’s line consisting of Jordan Caron and Ryan Spooner made up for three of the four P-Bruins goals. In addition to Caron and Spooner, Pastrnak also developed some chemistry with Alex Khoklachev, who scored the shootout winner Friday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets in his first game of the 2014-15 season with the Boston Bruins.

    While Pastrnak still works out the kinks in his game, his confidence continues to grow thanks in part to the veterans he was surrounded with.

    “Those guys have already played in the NHL and have a lot of experience,” Pastrnak said. “It’s a good thing being able to play with those guys and I’ve enjoyed it.”

    As confident as Pastrnak is, the young, promising forward will very well be on cloud nine when he suits up in his first game in the National Hockey League.

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    Tim Rosenthal

    Tim Rosenthal serves as the Managing Editor of Bruins Daily. He started contributing videos to the site in 2010 before fully coming on board during the Bruins' Stanley Cup run in 2011. His bylines over the last decade have been featured on Boston.com, FoxSports.com, College Hockey News, Patch and Inside Hockey. You can follow Tim on Twitter @_TimRosenthal.


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