Tuukka Rask’s decision to leave the Return to Play bubble, along with the Bruins subsequently winning Game 3, has kind of overshadowed the fact that the B’s are still playing without their best goal-scorer.
David Pastrnak has been out since Game 2, and his status for Game 4 remains up in the air.
The Bruins had an optional skate on Sunday, and Pastrnak did, in fact, participate. However, that doesn’t really mean that he’s a lock for Game 4.
When asked about Pastrnak’s status for tomorrow, Bruce Cassidy admitted that things remain up in the air.
“Not sure yet, probably a little premature,” Said Cassidy. “Let’s see how he does in the morning...I’d say 50/50, I guess, at best right now. Of course, that could change over 24 hours.”
It’s still not quite clear what ails Pastrnak. Most of you have seen his grimace after celebrating Patrice Bergeron’s OT winner in Game 1, but it seems unlikely that such a small movement caused that injury on its own.
It’s more likely that Pastrnak already had some kind of core/abdominal injury or strain that was exacerbated.
Of course, the details don’t really matter too much. In the NHL world, he’s just unfit to participate.
It will be interesting to see what Cassidy does if Pastrnak still can’t go tomorrow. Anders Bjork got some first line time in Game 3, but looked out of his element.
If Cassidy decides it’s Bjork’s time to sit, he could rotate Karson Kuhlman in on that top line. The more likely scenario would be to let Jack Studnicka play 1RW, a big task for the kid.
If I were a betting man, I’d say Pastrnak doesn’t play until Game 5.