They still celebrate ‘Prince Spaghetti Day’ on Wednesday’s in the North End of Boston and over at Warrior Arena in Brighton, MA, the Boston Bruins got their first serving of ‘Pasta’ on the ice as superstar winger David Pastrnak made his training camp debut. Fellow Czech winger Ondrej Kase and forward Trent Frederic were missing again, but it was all smiles for an optional skate with the affable Pastrnak back in the fold after missing the first two days of camp.
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) July 15, 2020
Cassidy Confident Pastrnak Will Find Timing Fast
Speaking to the media prior to the skate, head coach Bruce Cassidy was clearly excited as well to have the 2019-20 co-Art Ross Trophy winner back skating with teammates. Cassidy wasn’t the least bit worried that his star winger, who tied Washington Capitals sniper Alex Ovechkin for the league-lead in goals with 48 lamplighters this season, would be out of shape.
“Pasta’s always in good shape so I’m sure he was doing what he needs to do to get ready over there,” Cassidy said. “We didn’t monitor them on a daily basis. Let’s get him on the ice and see how he is. I suspect he’ll get right back up to speed. He’s a guy that loves the game so I’m sure he was around it in some capacity whether he was roller-blading or skating, firing pucks or whatever he was doing in his spare time. So, he’ll be like the other guys, I’m sure he’ll take a little bit of time to get going but I anticipate he’ll pick up where he left off.”
The only issue Cassidy was a bit concerned about was something he’s worried about for all his players: timing. As he pointed out though, with Pastrnak’s natural skill, he should get it back by the time the Bruins embark on another journey for the Stanley Cup, August 2 against the Philadelphia Flyers in the round-robin stage in Toronto.
“Time will tell on that part,” Cassidy acknowledged. “Timing is important this time of the year I think for everybody and you can’t help but think it’s going to be off a little bit. The team that gets it back the quickest; the individuals that get it back the quickest and especially with his shot. I mean it will take some time. He’s got a great one-timer and his release is second-to-none in the National Hockey League. Let’s hope that’s up to speed but again, he gets out there and plays at a high speed with people around him, it’s anybody’s guess but like I said, I anticipate he’ll be fine.”
Pastrnak, Ritchie Only Regulars On The Ice
Pastrnak and forward Nick Ritchie were the only regulars to skate during the scheduled maintenance day Wednesday. The others forwards were Anton Blidh, Paul Carey, Zach Senyshyn, and Jack Studnicka. Defenseman Connor Clifton, Urho Vaakanainen and Jakub Zboril all skated and Max Legace and Dan Vladar manned the pipes.
Cassidy explained that despite basically every player showing up for camp in tip-top shape, this maintenance day was scheduled so that the players’ bodies are given the proper amount of recovery after four months away from the practice and game setting.
“It was built in originally,” Cassidy explained. “Our medical and strength guys felt that after two days, it would be a wise thing to do. I’ve said it all along when I was asked way back when, that the recovery part for our team will be important because I do believe that our guys will stay in shape – and sure enough ‘Krech’ [Krejci] was right – so we want to manage the recovery as well as possible. That was our expectation that that would be our challenge more than getting the guys into top condition. I think they can take care of that and they’ve done a good job of it as a whole. So yes, this was originally scheduled.”
Cassidy stressed that there were no injuries amongst key veterans as far as he knows and that this was a good opportunity for the younger players and even some veterans that hadn’t played to just get out there and shake off the rust or keep their skating legs going.
“We are gonna put some of the younger guys out there simply because some have skated less than others; some were quarantined because of international travel and some didn’t get here until later,” Cassidy said. “I don’t think there’s any injuries that prevented anybody from getting on the ice off the top of my head here. …why they’re skating a little bit more. Some guys didn’t play as much in the winter so we want to get them as many reps as possible. Like a [Connor] Clifton for example. So, that’s the thinking behind it.
We’re going to have a scheduled day off Sunday for everybody. That’s mandatory in camp but this was built in like I said for the above reasons and again, the guys that are going out there today, I think it’s self-explanatory. Some haven’t been on the ice and some are late joining us and then a few guys were given the option. Do you want to get out and get some extra work or not and a few of them have been told they can take the day off but they’ve chosen to go out there so good for them.”
It's a limited skate today at @WarriorIceArena.
F: Anton Blidh, Paul Carey, Nick Ritchie, David Pastrnak, Zach Senyshyn, Jack Studnicka.
D: Connor Clifton, Urho Vaakanainen, Jakub Zboril.
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) July 15, 2020