After making his training camp debut Wednesday in what was a maintenance day for most veterans, Boston Bruins superstar winger David Pastrnak and fellow winger Ondrej Kase did not practice Thursday morning and the Bruins media relations department subsequently canceled his scheduled 11:30 AM Zoom call with the media. Pastrnak and Kase had missed the first two days on the ice to finish their international 14-day quarantine protocol.
As if that’s not concerning enough, Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask, who appeared rattled after taking a hard shot in practice Tuesday, left practice early.
Given the strict injury protocol the NHL put in place last Saturday, only the league can release any COVID19 or injury-related info, and the team is only allowed to say a player is ‘unfit to play’ when they speak to the media. That being said, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy couldn’t say much to the media when he spoke to them in a Zoom call immediately after practice.
“Per the league, unfit to participate for right now,” Cassidy said of Pastrnak and Kase. “We’re just going to forge ahead.”
Cassidy did say that as of now, he is not at the stage where he’s planning on scenarios where he may be without his top two right wingers when the team travels to Toronto July 26 for Phase 4 and the Stanley Cup playoffs but that could obviously change with whatever news he gets from the medical staff today.
“Am I thinking ahead to being without [Pastrnak and Kase] in round-robin or the playoffs? No, that would be speculating. But for today & if I get word later today that the same thing is gonna happen tomorrow, then we start looking at other guys,” the 2019-20 Jack Adams Award nominee said.
As for Rask, Cassidy truly didn’t seem to know what was going on, and like the media and fans was wondering if that shot he took on Tuesday was still nagging him.
“He got stung the other day with a shot. … Maybe that was acting up today,” he speculated aloud.
On Wednesday, Cassidy didn’t seem too worried about Pastrnak getting up to speed after missing the first two days of camp and said he came back in good 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.”
Based on that, one can only speculate, but either the 2020 Art Ross co-winner injured himself Wednesday or this is COVID19 related. Either way, the media, and fans will never know under the new injury protocol.
With Pastrnak and Kase out and then Rask leaving early, here’s how the Bruins lineup ended up looking like on Thursday: