David Pastrnak, arguably the Boston Bruins’ best player, remains away from the team as the NHL’s restart nears.
However, it doesn’t sound like the All-Star sniper is letting it get him down too much.
Pastrnak has skated at Warrior Ice Arena just once since the NHL’s Phase 3 began. The 24-year-old, per his agent, is under quarantine after coming into contact with someone who had COVID-19. His agent told The Athletic that Pastrnak tested negative, but testing issues have muddied the waters for the Bruins and teams across the league when it comes to getting players back on the ice.
The lack of information and clarity has complicated matters for the Bruins thus far, but Pastrnak apparently is taking it all in stride, per Boston winger Jake DeBrusk.
“From what I’ve talked to him, he seems like he’s in good spirits,” DeBrusk said Monday on a media Zoom call. “Obviously, it’s not the ideal situation, but from what I’ve talked to him, he’s still Pasta. He’s still doing his thing. I’m not worried about him at all, to be honest with you. Not necessarily on the ice, but obviously I wanted to check in and make sure he was safe and seeing what was going on. From what I’ve been talking to him, he’s still Pasta. He’s still doing his thing.
“He’s gotta get back on the ice, though, obviously. He wants to be out there just as bad as we want him out there.”
Obviously, the Bruins want Pastrnak back before Sunday when they travel to Toronto for Phase 4 of the NHL’s restart.
Here are some more notes from Monday.
— Regarding the final week of Phase 3 and players in a situation similar to Pastrnak, this week is huge in terms of negative tests and getting back on the ice.
Any positive tests, teams would likely re-test immediately to rule out false positives* but each test has turn around time, and there is little margin for error. Have heard stories of teams testing twice the required amount the last 10 days or so to make sure they’re good.
— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) July 20, 2020
— With the Bruins’ departure fast approaching, downtime in the NHL bubble has become a topic of conversation during daily media calls. DeBrusk, for instance, said he plans on bringing his Xbox and computer to Toronto. He’s also looking into getting a guitar as an apparent #quarantinegoal.
” … I gamed a lot fresh out of quarantine, and I’m kind of bored with it, so I’m looking for new things to do,” DeBrusk said.
— DeBrusk, however, did do a very nice job of putting things into perspective.
“What I expect out of it, honestly, it’s just one of those things where we just went through it with everything shut down,” he said. “To go back into that, it’s not going to be the greatest, but at the same time, still living the dream. We’re there to play for the Stanley Cup. That’s what the main goal is, and there are sacrifices every year whether there are injuries or other things, and this is just the card that is dealt to us.”
DeBrusk added: “If we weren’t playing hockey, it would probably be (cabin fever). At least we’re doing what we love to do. This is our passion.
” … there probably will be a little bit of that, I’m not gonna lie. But at the same time, there’s a mission here. It’s a mission for us to win the Stanley Cup and finish the job.”
— It wouldn’t be surprising if we don’t know the Bruins’ lineup until puck drops on Aug. 2 vs. Philadelphia.
“Clearly, some guys when they get back to our team, they’re gonna go into the lineup,” head coach Bruce Cassidy said. “But we’ve also said there are some battles.”
— Patrice Bergeron became the latest Bruin, joining Cassidy and Tuukka Rask, to add a regular-season trophy finalist to the resume. Bergeron extended his own record by being named a finalist for the Selke Trophy for the ninth straight season. The four-time winner is joined by Philadelphia’s Sean Couturier and St. Louis’ Ryan O’Reilly as finalists. If Bergeron claims the honor, he’d surpass Bob Gainey for most Selke Trophy wins.
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) July 20, 2020
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images