BOSTON (CBS) — The news for sports leagues not operating out of a bubble is pretty bleak as of Monday morning. Luckily, NHL teams have reported to their respective Canadian bubbles, and there is even a bit of positive news for the Boston Bruins.
The Bruins made their way to Toronto over the weekend, and forward David Pastrnak was part of that trip. Better yet, Pastrnak was on the ice when the Bruins practiced on Monday. The forward, who tied for the league lead with 48 regular season goals, was back on his usual line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand when Boston took the ice for its first practice up north.
#NHLBruins practice lines:
Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak
DeBrusk – Krejci – Studnicka
Kuraly – Coyle – Bjork/Kuhlman
Nordstrom – Lindholm – Wagner
Grzelcyk – McAvoy
Krug – Carlo
Moore – Lauzon
Vaakanainen – Clifton
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) July 27, 2020
After Pastrnak missed all but one day of Bruins practice over the last two weeks, this is great news for the top team in the league.
“He looks great,” Cassidy said of Pastrnak on his Monday morning Zoom with reporters prior to practice. “He probably needs a haircut, but other than that, I expect him to be ready to go and excited to be back with his teammates.”
Despite the long layoff, Cassidy said he believes Boston’s leading scorer will pick things up “fairly quickly.”
After arriving in Boston from Europe, Pastrnak practiced with the team just once at Warrior Ice Arena in Brighton before he was forced into quarantine protocols after coming in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. There was some concern that he’d even travel with the team to Toronto, where Boston will call home until the conclusion of the 2019-20 season. But now that he has made the trip, Pasta will be back on the ice with his teammates for their first practice of bubble life.
The news isn’t as good for forward Ondrej Kase, who did not travel with the team. The trade deadline acquisition is expected to join the team at a later date. Like Pastrnak, Kase skated in just one practice in Brighton before landing being deemed “unfit to participate.”
Nick Ritchie also missed Monday’s practice, as did captain Zdeno Chara. The Bruins are still awaiting Chara’s test results from Sunday, and help him out at direction of medical advisors, the team announced Monday afternoon.