Things continue to trend in the right direction for the Boston Bruins’ top two wingers.
David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand underwent procedures in September, but both are in good spot.
Marchand underwent sports hernia surgery, with his initial timeline for return estimated at mid-January. He ended up taking part in Bruins training camp with minimal issue, though he did take occasional stretches off in an effort to be mindful of his recovery.
But with the Bruins set to begin the season Thursday against the New Jersey Devils, Marchand still is expected to be good to go.
“He’ll be back on the ice (Wednesday),” Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said Tuesday over Zoom. “Just a couple of days he’s been going through some soreness associated with his offseason and obviously we’re being cautious with Brad in his return to play. He’s got a goal for him to be there Opening Night, and we still expect that to happen, but we have to react to how he’s feeling.”
Pastrnak had surgery on his hip and originally was estimated for a mid-February return. Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said Pastrnak was a little ahead of schedule, and he appeared on the ice at Warrior Ice Arena on Tuesday wearing a non-contact jersey.
He won’t travel with the Bruins on their initial road trip, but he could be back in practice with the full group upon their return to Boston next week.
“I know that Bruce alluded that he might be ahead of schedule, but we don’t pick any one particular day that we circle on the calendar,” Sweeney said. “We’ll allow him to go through progressions with our training staff, our entire medical group … and find out where he’s at and continue to increase his load overall.
“Unfortunately he won’t be with us on the road to do some of those battle situations (in practice) … but we expect him to fully integrate into practice upon our return and then we’ll get a further indication (of where he’s at.)”
Jack Studnicka has been skating in Pastrnak’s spot on the first line right wing, so he’s more or less locked in there for Opening Night. In the event Marchand can’t play, it likely will be Anders Bjork on the left wing.