Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy expects to have a full roster headed to Toronto Sunday as his team checks into bubble life and Phase 4 of the NHL Return. David Pastrnak and Ondrej Kase missed their ninth days of Phase 3 and training camp Friday and Nick Ritchie was out for a second day but Cassidy is confident the band will back together when the team hops on Bear Force One and heads for the Great White North.
“That’s what’s been indicated to me. And of course, that could change but that’s the plan right now,” Cassidy said. “So, we hope that everyone is cleared to go at 5:30 on Sunday unless we hear differently.”
Due to the constant uncertainty of the Bruins lineup and what was at one point, a jammed pack ‘unfit to play’ list, the two-time Jack Adams Award finalist (2018, 2020), has had to reshuffle lines on pretty much a daily basis. Cassidy is hoping that entering the NHL bubble can not just alleviate the constant coaching challenges he’s facing but put everyone at ease enough to play some hockey.
“I do. I think it’ll fade a lot, to be honest with you,” Cassidy said. “I think once you’re in there, it might be the safest place to be in terms of not getting infected. You’re going to have some outside people coming in that are working there, but they’re all screened and tested as well, so you really shouldn’t come in contact. The only way you would is if you left, and it’s very punitive if you do, both internally from your teammates for letting them down and from the National Hockey League. So yes, I think once we’re there hopefully everyone can sort of take a deep breath and feel a lot safer going forward, and hopefully, that gets us all focused on the task at hand.”
With Pastrnak, Kase, and Ritchie out again, the Bruins lineup looked the same as Thursday and David Krejci was once again manning Pastrnak’s slot on the top powerplay.
Marchand – Bergeron – Bjork
DeBrusk – Krejci – Studnicka
Kuraly – Coyle – Kuhlman
Nordstrom – Lindholm – Wagner
Blidh – Frederic – Senyshyn
Chara – McAvoy
Krug – Carlo
Grzelcyk – Lauzon
Moore – Clifton
Vaakanainen – Zboril