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All-Star Game

Pastrnak of Bruins wins All-Star MVP for Atlantic Division

Has six points in two games, including goal, assist in loss to Pacific in final

by Tom Gulitti @TomGulittiNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

ST. LOUIS -- David Pastrnak was surprised when he was named the most valuable player of the 2020 Honda NHL All-Star Game at Enterprise Center on Saturday because his Atlantic Division team lost 5-4 to the Pacific Division in the final.

The Boston Bruins forward had six points (four goals, two assists) in two games in the 3-on-3 tournament. The MVP was selected through a fan vote on social media.

"Definitely I would expect a winner should win the MVP, the winning team," Pastrnak said. "If it was voted in by fans, I appreciate the love. Probably wasn't any fans from St. Louis' building, but whoever voted in, I appreciate it and I appreciate the love."

 

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Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy, who coached the Atlantic Division, joked about being a "bridesmaid again in St. Louis" after losing to the St. Louis Blues in the Stanley Cup Final last season, but was pleased to see Pastrnak win the MVP. 

"Well, he's our MVP a lot of nights too, so I'm used to seeing him go to work," Cassidy said. "I'm happy for him. Good for him. I'm sure he had a great time here. Got to play with some good players, score a few goals. Too bad we came up a little short, but I'm sure he'd tell you he had a real good time."

Video: Pastrnak wins MVP award at 2020 NHL All-Star Game

Although Pastrnak, who leads the NHL with 37 goals this season, was booed at times by the Blues fans, that didn't prevent from enjoying the weekend. The 23-year-old had four points (three goals, one assist) in a 9-5 victory against the Metropolitan Division in the semifinals and two points (one goal, one assist) in the final.

"We had a good start," Pastrnak said. "Obviously, it was fun, but unfortunately we came out on the losing point. We wanted to win and congratulations to the opponent and definitely a little bit painful."

Pastrnak was voted captain of the Atlantic Division by the fans and Cassidy noticed some differences in his play while wearing the C on Saturday.

"The first shift of Game 1 against Metro, he backchecked all the way to the goal line in his own end. I was like, 'Where was this all year?'" Cassidy said. "I just need to put the C on him. Good luck getting it from [Zdeno Chara]. No, he was good. He was chatting with the guys. He enjoyed the moment. They're all good guys. I think just from the presence on the bench, you can tell why (Montreal Canadiens defenseman Shea) Weber has been a captain. Maybe Pasta picked up a little [from] him, but he had a good time."

Video: MET@ATL: Pastrnak collects hat trick vs. Metropolitan

Pastrnak won the MVP instead of fellow Czech Republic native Tomas Hertl of the San Jose Sharks. Hertl scored five goals in the tournament, including the winning goal with 2:36 remaining in the final. 

"I heard he had a little cold, so good for him," Pastrnak said of Hertl. "Just great to have around the All-Star [Game], a couple Czech players. It's good for our country and hopefully there's going to be more and more players. Obviously, there's not many of us in the NHL, so we are all [rooting] for each other, we are all friends. So like I said, hopefully it's going to be more and more every year."

For winning the MVP, Pastrnak received a 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid. He'd yet to decide what he will do with the car.

"I was kind of in the zone," Pastrnak said. "We all wanted to win at the end and too bad we couldn't. So I'll probably sleep on it and see what's going to happen. Maybe ship it back home."

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