As if the 0-3 showing by the Boston Bruins in the round-robin wasn’t concerning enough, Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask and forward David Pastrnak were both missing from Bruins practice Monday. This was the only practice the Bruins had scheduled before they begin their quest for the Stanley Cup and play the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 1 of the first round of the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs Tuesday night at 8 PM in Toronto. Thankfully, head coach Bruce Cassidy did say that he expects both to play Tuesday night.
“Unfit to participate. Expect to be on the ice tomorrow,” Cassidy said of his star goalie and leading scorer.
This is not the first time Rask and Pastrnak have been absent from practice since Phase 3 of the NHL Return and training camp began back on July 13. However, while Pastrnak has missed more practices, only Rask has missed game action, not suiting up for the Bruins’ round-robin opener and a 4-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on August 2.
Pastrnak’s absences have been well-documented as he and fellow Bruins winger Ondrej Kase broke their federally, state, league and team-mandated quarantines on July 11 and 13 just as camp was getting underway, Pastrnak was only able to practice with the team four times before the round-robin began on August 2 as he and Kase had to go back into quarantine from July 15-24. Kase actually ended up staying in quarantine longer and was unable to join the team when they traveled to Toronto and the Eastern Conference bubble on July 25. He finally returned to practice last Friday and along with Pastrnak and Rask, played in the Bruins round-robin finale, a 2-1 loss to the Washington Capitals on Sunday.
Rask, as mentioned above, has missed a game but it wasn’t because of the broken finger he suffered working out in Phase 2 and that kept him out of three practices. This time, Rask missed a practice August 1 and then didn’t play the following day because of some faulty COVID19 tests and having to quarantine for two days. Rask has since returned to make 34 saves in a 3-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning last Wednesday and then stopping 23 of 25 shots in the loss to the Caps Sunday.
Here’s what the Bruins’ lineup looked like at practice on Monday morning.
Marchand – Bergeron – Kuhlman
DeBrusk – Krejci – Kase
Ritchie – Coyle – Bjork
Nordstrom – Kuraly – Wagner
Chara – McAvoy
Krug – Carlo
Grzelcyk – Lauzon
Moore – Clifton