While the Boston Bruins began their training camp back in July, two members were absent; Czech forwards David Pastrnak and Ondrej Kase. And their delay, and perhaps lax attitude, meant they were not in game shape when the Bruins needed them most.
The pair sat out for extra quarantine while the rest of the team hit the ice to get back into their skating shape. That time off paid an obvious toll on the Bruins in the long run, as they were ultimately eliminated by the Tampa Bay Lightning in five games in Round Two of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
As a result of the lack of on-ice conditioning, head coach Bruce Cassidy admitted Wednesday to the media that his two right-wingers were not where he wanted them to be for a postseason run.
“Obviously missing time, [Pastrnak] and Kase, their conditioning level wasn’t where it needed to be to stand the rigors of that,” said Cassidy. “And that was a bit of circumstance. Typically you have the whole year to build that up if you miss a bit at the start. We didn’t have that luxury this year.”
David Pastrnak finished the shortened regular season tied atop the NHL in scoring with 48 goals. He finished fourth overall with 95 points. The 24-year-old managed to pick up three goals and seven assists in the 10 games he dressed. But, he also missed some time during the first round against the Carolina Hurricanes due to an injury that would continue to irritate him the remainder of the playoffs.
“I know that Pasta had a lower body injury he played through the whole playoffs,” said Cassidy. “You could see he wasn’t at top speed.”
While David Pastrnak was able to travel with the team to Toronto to join the bubble, Kase’s arrival was delayed. The other 24-year-old was “unfit to play” back in late July, and therefore could not make the initial travel up north.
When in the playoff bubble, Kase never found the back of the net. However, he did register 27 shots on goal, and tallied four assists.