BOSTON (CBS) — Bruins hockey returns Thursday night with an exhibition game with the Columbus Blue Jackets, and David Pastrnak will be in the Boston lineup for all the fun.
After tiptoeing around the subject on Wednesday, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy made it official Thursday afternoon.
Cassidy: Pastrnak will play tonight.
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) July 30, 2020
Pastrnak rejoined the team when they left for Toronto, and has practiced with his teammates three times over the past week. Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said Wednesday that Pastrnak is eager to play, and he will probably send his leading goal-scorer out there against Columbus.
“The line looked good again,” Cassidy said after Wednesday’s practice. “I think he wants to play. He’s ready to play. I just want to make sure we’re not rushing it. But at the end of day, I would suspect he’ll play. I’ll make the final decision in the morning, see him at the rink to double check, but that’s the way we’re leaning.”
After going through a 14-day quarantine after he arrived back stateside from Europe, Pastrnak had to quarantine for another 14 days after he skated at a rink in Malden, unbeknownst to the team. He only practiced once before that second stint in quarantine, and after missing another two weeks of practice, there was some concern that Pastrnak would be a step or two behind when he rejoined Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand on Boston’s top line.
That, however, has not been the case this week at practice.
“It was a little frustrating watching him come back and realizing how far behind him we are,” Marchand said Wednesday. “It’s been a lot of fun having him back, even just his energy that he brings to the table every day.”
“He’s looking good,” Bergeron added. “We have some catching up to do, to catch up to him. He’s looking great. Looking like Pasta pretty much. He didn’t miss a beat.”
Pastrnak led Boston with 48 goals during the regular season, totaling 95 points in 70 games.