Why David Pastrnak Gave Ex-NHL Tough Guy Goosebumps With Fight

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Mike Rupp is a believer in the Bruins, in large part because of what he saw from David Pastrnak in an otherwise discouraging night for Boston.

The Bruins didn’t have their best stuff Wednesday night, and it cost them. The Florida Panthers ran the B’s out of the building to the tune of a 6-1 drubbing to even their second-round Stanley Cup playoffs series at a game apiece.

It’s what happened late in that game and after the heated contest that’s sparking conversation a day later, though. Specifically, Bruins superstar David Pastrnak’s decision to drop the gloves with Florida’s Matthew Tkachuk in the waning minutes of an already-decided game. Tkachuk, far more comfortable with his inner pugilist, got the better of Pastrnak, connecting with a clean punch before Pastrnak lost his footing.

However, the Bruins sniper got up and went back for more, and then after the game, he declared he wasn’t afraid of Tkachuk, stating he could take a punch. Rupp, who made his living as a tough guy who could handle himself with gloves on the ice, absolutely loved what Pastrnak did.

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“David Pastrnak, the way he goes out there, squares off, comes off the bench and fights? Are you kidding me? And his postgame comments: ‘I’m not afraid of Matthew Tkachuk … I can take a punch. … I’ll do anything for these guys.’ Goosebumps,” Rupp said in a video he posted Thursday morning to X.

Rupp argued that Pastrnak’s decision to take matters into his own hands sends an important message to everyone inside the Bruins’ dressing room as the series progresses.

“As a depth guy, to know the stud, the guy who could be up for MVP … when you get that kind of support, that the superstar is in the fight, it lifts you up, man. All of a sudden, I’m like, ‘Look out for this Bruins team.’ They’re not dead. They’re not down. I know it’s 1-1, but they’re going to come back in a big way all because David Pastrnak said I’m in this with you guys. I’ll do anything, whatever it takes. I’m going to get uncomfortable for you guys. We have to get uncomfortable. Let’s go. I mean, phew, can you imagine if some of the other superstars did in the league did that at the right time? You can move mountains with that (expletive), guys.”

We’ll find out how much of an impact it makes when the Bruins and Panthers play Game 3 on Friday night at TD Garden in Boston.

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