The Boston Bruins 5-1 win against the New Jersey Devils last night featured a pair of 1-timer goals off the stick of David Pastrnak, who leads the NHL in goal scoring a quarter of the way into the season. Boston wins, Pasta rips 1-timer clappers into the back of the net. Rinse and repeat.
It might seem a little far fetched to some to suggest that Pastrnak has the best 1-timer in hockey given how often we see guys like Alex Ovechkin and Steven Stamkos fire darts from the left circle. And I can’t imagine many people want to step in front of a Shea Weber 1-T. However, Pastrnak has shown an uncanny ability to bury a higher percentage of his 1-timers than anyone in the league over the past few seasons. He doesn’t take as many as some guys but when he loads up, look out.
Since the start of the 2017-18 season, Pastrnak has scored 41, 1-timer goals which ranks 3rd in the NHL behind Ovechkin (47) and Stamkos (42). However, he has attempted 119 fewer than Stamkos and a whopping 230 fewer than Ovechkin.
Pastrnak has scored on just over 15 percent of his 1-timer shot attempts over the last 3 seasons. How impressive is that? To find the answer, I compiled a list of players who have scored at least 20, 1-timer goals in this span from an average shot attempt distance of 30 feet or more. Since a backdoor tap in is technically a 1-timer, I used shot distance to separate as much noise as possible in determining who’s 1-timer shot is most lethal. This left us with 8 players.
Ovechkin, Stamkos, Pastrnak, Nikita Kucherov, Patrik Laine, Mike Hoffman, Tyler Seguin, and Nathan MacKinnon.
None of these players have scored at a higher rate than Pastrnak.
So, does Pastrnak have the best 1-timer in the game? I guess that depends on what you value most. Attempts and goals – it’s Ovechkin. The likelihood of a 1-timer going in – that’s Pastrnak and it hasn’t been particularly close the past few seasons. Whether he’s receiving a pass on his front foot, back foot, in his skates, in front if his body, east-west, low-to-high, high-to-low, it doesn’t seem to matter – Pastrnak’s ability to get a quality 1-timer off is second to none. So, that’s my argument for Pastrnak having the best 1-timer in the game.
Some will agree, others will disagree. I think what we can all agree on is that watching Pasta rip 1-T’s into the back of the net for 60 seconds is a good way to spend a minute of your day. Enjoy.