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Pastrnak Staying Focused Following All-Star Nod

Winger wants to keep building his game

by Eric Russo @NHLBruins / BostonBruins.com

BOSTON - David Pastrnak is certainly excited for his first career All-Star nod, but for now he's keeping his focus on the ice. It's a mindset that is probably the main reason why he's headed to San Jose later this month in the first place.

"I'm having a good season, thanks to my linemates and teammates," said Pastrnak. "Just gonna enjoy it and focus on the season…trying to stay humble, but at the same time it's fun and my family is really happy and proud. That makes it a little bit more enjoyable that they're really happy about it and they recognize that."

A modest approach, indeed, for the 22-year-old, who knows there is still work to do, both personally and as team over the next three weeks.

"Obviously very happy," added Pastrnak. "Obviously thanks to my teammates, wouldn't be there without them and my linemates…it's gonna be a great experience…it's something new."

Video: Pastrnak talks about first All-Star selection

Pastrnak was named to the team on Wednesday night, his team-leading 24 goals and 50 points making him a lock to represent the Bruins in California on Jan. 26. The former first-round pick ranks ninth in the league in scoring and is tied for fourth in goals, behind only Alex Ovechkin, John Tavares, and Jeff Skinner.

"Happy for him, proud of him. He's certainly earned it," said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. "Wasn't like it was just a, 'Hey, we had to pick someone from Boston.' He was definitely in the mix the whole time…again, well deserved. Hopefully it's one of many for him."

"Not surprised all. I was expecting that," said linemate and two-time All-Star Patrice Bergeron. "He's having an amazing year and keeps getting better."

Bergeron has been impressed with Pastrnak's progression over the winger's five seasons with the Black & Gold, particularly when it comes to his work away from the puck.

"I think he's a lot harder on pucks and he keeps it for longer periods of time because of that," said Bergeron. "It helps him create more all over the ice. I think also just getting back in our zone and realizing that spending less time there is actually good offense.

"All that buying in stuff has been great to see and that's the biggest thing I've seen over the years with him."

Video: Bergeron talks Pastrnak, 2nd half

Pastrnak has had some pretty good players to learn from, with two of the better three-zone players in the league - Bergeron and Brad Marchand - riding beside him over the past few seasons.

"You're trying to grow your game with stuff that you're good at and trying to get better where you have weaknesses," said Pastrnak. "That's where I was trying to focus. Obviously still gonna get better at the stuff that I'm good at, but first thing you always want to take care of is where you're a little bit behind. I'm really happy with my game lately and hopefully I can keep going."

Pastrnak could have some familiar company in San Jose, as Bergeron has been named one of the Atlantic Division's nominees for the 'Last Men In' ballot, which can be voted on at NHL.com/vote through Jan. 10.

"One hundred percent. That guy should be there, we all know that," Pastrnak said of Bergeron, who has 33 points (13 goals, 20 assists) in just 24 games this season. "If he didn't miss that much time, he would be there already now. Obviously gonna pull up some websites and vote probably…he's a world-class player and should be there. Hopefully he gets voted in."

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