By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — David Pastrnak is taking full responsibility for having to miss the last two weeks of Bruins practice, but the Boston forward doesn’t believe he did anything wrong.
Pastrnak returned to the ice for the first time in weeks Monday in Toronto, and on Tuesday, he addressed the situation that sidelined him during the NHL’s Phase 3. The B’s winger spoke with reporters Tuesday for the first time since his return to the team, following a two-week quarantine that he had to go through for taking part in an unsanctioned skate session.
After spending the NHL’s coronavirus hiatus in Europe, Pastrnak had to quarantine for two weeks upon his return. He took part in one practice with the Bruins, before he was back in quarantine for another two weeks after he skated at a rink in Malden, unbeknownst to the team.
“First of all, I was never sick so I don’t think I did anything wrong. It was a tough bounce there, and unfortunately, it happened and I had to miss time,” Pastrnak said on Tuesday. “I was at home for a while and it was nothing I could control. I take full responsibility for my actions.”
If it sounds like Pasta is playing both sides here, well he kinda sorta is. He’s apologizing that his actions caused him to miss the last two weeks, but at the same time, he feels like he did no wrong. Last week, Bruins president Cam Neely made it sound like the team was a tad bit disappointed with Pastrnak’s choices, both in his return from Europe and hitting the ice away from the team. If the team made that point to the 24-year-old, it doesn’t seem as though that message got through very clearly.
Pastrnak’s “punishment” was another 14 days in quarantine, which he said was not easy because he felt like he should be playing hockey instead of being stuck at home.
“The toughest part is I was healthy the whole time, but I couldn’t do anything. It was really tough and frustrating at the same time,” he said. “It was a really long month and I’m happy that thing is over and I’m back with the guys.”
Given that his actions caused him to miss two weeks of practice, the pressure will be on for the 48-goal scorer when the NHL resumes play. Pastrnak said he felt good during Monday’s practice, which surprised him after such a long layoff.
Pastrnak isn’t sure if he’ll play in Boston’s exhibition game against the Blue Jackets on Thursday evening, though he said he’s always up to playing if Bruce Cassidy lets him loose.
“I’m focusing on getting better every day,” he said.
Boston’s first game is set for Sunday afternoon against the Philadelphia Flyers.