BOSTON (CBS) — When David Pastrnak suffered an off-ice injury in early February, the Bruins learned that they’d be losing their leading goal scorer for at least a month. The outlook didn’t look great.
Of course, all the Bruins have done since then is go 8-0-1, solidifying their Atlantic Division playoff positioning while getting scoring contributions from up and down the lineup.READ MORE: I-Team: Revere Residents Upset Over New Parking Meters, Lack Of Outreach
That has kept alive a 16-game point streak (12-0-4), which has the Bruins in a pretty good position as they enter the final 17 games of the regular season. Adding Pastrnak to a team that’s clicking ought to put the Bruins in an even better spot.
And when it comes to reinserting Pastrnak into the lineup, head coach Bruce Cassidy told Toucher & Rich on Tuesday morning that the placement of Pastrnak will depend on when he’s able to actually return to game action.
“I think it depends a little on the timeline,” Cassidy said. “If there’s time before the end of the year, probably with [David] Krejci because we never got a real good look at that, and I would move [Marcus] Johansson down [to the third line] with [Charlie] Coyle, which we’d be interested in seeing. If it’s right at the [end of the season] going into the playoffs, you know if there’s something that lingers there, it might have to be with [Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron], because that’s where he’s had his most success.”READ MORE: Keller @ Large: Baker, Sununu Targeted By EMILY's List
Cassidy added: “He’s going to be a little bit behind. I don’t care how much time he’s missed, you’re going to be a little bit behind. So I think it’d be easier for him to catch up where he has more familiarity with them. So some of it will have to do with how many games we have left when he gets back.”
For the Bruins, it’s not the worst problem to have. If there is enough time to experiment with Pastrnak on Krejci’s right side, then the Bruins could end up strengthening their second line. If there’s not enough time, then putting Pastrnak with Bergeron and Marchand and reuniting arguably the best line in the NHL is not the worst fallback plan.
Pastrnak remains in a cast after undergoing a procedure to repair a torn tendon in his thumb. Cassidy said that he’s hoping for good news from Pastrnak’s next doctor’s appointment.MORE NEWS: 'Year Of Transition': Suit Shops Say Work Wardrobe Will Now Reflect Hybrid Model
Pastrnak has 31 goals and 35 assists in 56 games played this season.