In September, Bruins forwards Brad Marchand David Pastrnak went under the knife, putting their starts to the 2020-21 season in jeopardy.
Marchand had sports hernia surgery on September 14 while Pastrnak had right hip arthroscopy on September 16. Marchand’s original timetable had him pegged for a mid-January return while Pastrnak was set for a mind-February return.
While the NHL start date remains unknown despite still having a desire to start on January 1, head coach Bruce Cassidy is optimistic about where the two are in their recovery from surgery.
"They may even be ahead of schedule, for all I know. I just know how hard those two guys work as well. Guys that train hard will probably stay on schedule, or at least get a little bit ahead,” Cassidy told NHL.com’s Amalie Benjamin.
"So I guess we're optimistic right now where their progress is. The unknown becomes [that] it's hard to project what game they'll be in because we don't know when our first game is, right? So that's the other part of this. Right now, we're expecting to have them early in the season. But I don't know, until we get the schedules, it's hard to say that they'll miss this amount of time or that amount of time."
Pastrnak was tied with Alex Ovechkin for the NHL lead in goals with 48. Marchand finished the season with 87 points in 70 games.
From leaving the NHL’s playoff bubble to trade rumors, Tuukka Rask has been a hot topic in Boston this offseason.
But from Bruins management down to Rask himself, the mindset has been that Rask leaving the bubble to tend to a family emergency and the ensuing questions that lingered are a thing of the past. They’re all focused on the upcoming season, one they expect Rask to be good to go for.
"I think everything that happened in the bubble has been addressed, dealt with," Cassidy said. "We're moving on, getting ready to win next year. That includes our goaltender."
Despite being bothered by some of the backlash
that came from his decision to leave the bubble, and the trade rumors that followed, Rask has no desire to play elsewhere as he enters the final year of a eight-year contract.
"I think Tuukka, he can speak for himself. But I think he just wants to get back in the net and play hockey and play well and give us a chance to win. Probably nobody more excited on our team to [be] getting back in there,” Cassidy said. “I would assume that Tuukka would sort of say, 'Hey, I'm still the goalie I was last year and I'm ready to go. Family's good, I'm good. Everyone's in a good place. Let's play hockey.'"
Yes indeed Bruce, let’s play hockey.