BOSTON – With the Boston Bruins struggling to score goals, the return of right wing sniper David Pastrnak from offseason hip surgery becomes even more urgent as he continued to practice with the B’s at TD Garden on Wednesday afternoon.
“He’s got a little bit of that to go. I’d say best guess is that he’ll be in with us through this week in the red [no-contact, stay out of the heavy stuff and then hopefully by next week he joins us, and we’ll see how close he is to game ready,” said Bruce Cassidy. “Where that puts him exactly, I don’t know. It’s too early to say that. But as I said before, he is ahead of schedule from the original mid-February date and a lot of it depends on how he handles [things].
“It will just be how much can he recover from contact and when is he cleared to be out of harm’s way with contact? That’s still a little bit way, but it should be before his original date of mid-February.”
It certainly looks like Pastrnak could be trending toward a return for the road trip at the start of next month that goes through Washington and Philly from Jan. 30-Feb. 5, but that is barring any setbacks. That would mean the Boston Bruins need to get through four more games without their top offensive gun as they struggle to generate offense 5-on-5 and will need to endure missing their top two right wings with Ondrej Kase (upper body) also out indefinitely.
Bruce Cassidy with a fairly ominous update for Ondrej Kase. “Upper body with Ondrej Kase. He’s out tomorrow. I don’t know long it will be, to be honest with you” Presumption is it’s a concussion with a player that’s got past history with head injuries
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) January 20, 2021
One can usually tell how the 23-year-old Pastrnak feels by his body language on the ice as well, and that was a good sign at Wednesday’s practice. The NHL’s leading scorer was his carefree, fun-loving self while hamming it up to the fake crowd noise being pumped into the TD Garden as the Bruins players went through their motions on the ice.
— The Camera Guys (@NBCSCameraGuys) January 20, 2021
After Pastrnak scored a goal during a drill he began waving his arms and celebrating to the canned crowd cheers to the smiles of his teammates on the ice. Given the slow start to the season for the B’s offense that’s exactly the jolt of Pasta energy that the Boston Bruins could use as soon as he can come back to game action.
So, the bad news is that the Bruins are going to have to shine it on offensively for a bit longer without Pastrnak, but the good news is that Pasta is clearly feeling good and his long-awaited return is imminent in the next couple of weeks.