David Pastrnak’s skills speak for themselves. But fans only get to see the product of years of hard work on display.
And according to Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy, the story behind his skills stem from a tenacious, and at times comical, work ethic.
Pastrnak competed in the IIHF World Junior Championship during one of his first seasons in the United States half a decade ago. He returned to Boston before heading to Providence, where he expected to play in a game with the AHL squad the next day.
But there was one issue: Pastrnak’s name was missing from the lineup.
And as Cassidy told Jeff Marek, co-host of “Hockey Central At Noon” on Sportsnet 590 The Fan, an interaction the day of the game painted Pastnrak’s dedicated work ethic — something that Cassidy said made Pastrnak a “rink rat” — well before the winger ever suited up for the Bruins.
“Where’s my number on the board?” Pastrnak asked then-Providence coach Cassidy.
“You’re not playing tonight. Donny (Sweeney) said you’re going to come in and take a few days off,” Cassidy said.
“No, I want to play. I’m here to play. That’s what I do,” Pastrnak countered.
“Tells you all you need to know about him in terms of his commitment to being a hockey player,” Cassidy noted.
While we love his fighting spirit, no one is able to play with the NHL season paused during the COVID-19 outbreak. In the meantime, the league has advised all its players to self-quarantine during this time — even the “rink rats” Pastrnak.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images