BRIGHTON, Mass. – David Pastrnak is expected to miss at least the next two games after getting the inflamed bursa sacs removed from his right elbow, but the Bruins are hoping it won’t be as long an absence as it was for David Backes earlier this season.
"David underwent a successful removal of the olecranon bursa from his right elbow on Friday, December 16 at Newton Wellesley Hospital by Dr. Matthew Liebman,” said Bruins GM Don Sweeney in a team statement. “He will likely be unavailable for the games on Sunday and Tuesday. His condition will be re-assessed on a day-to-day basis."
The 32-year-old Backes missed roughly two weeks (five games) when he had the procedure done in late October and the 20-year-old Pastrnak is expected to be out for at least the next two games against the Los Angeles Kings and New York Islanders.
It will be a potentially crippling loss for a 24th-ranked Bruins offense considering that the electric Pastrnak is second to Sidney Crosby in the NHL with his 19 goals. The young right winger has done that while already missing five games due to injury and suspension.
Backes, however, theorizes that Pastrnak might be back sooner if his elbow wasn’t in quite the same beaten up shape that his was in when he had the procedure a couple of months ago.
“There’s no question he’s a big part of our offense, and it’s not exactly a fun procedure that he’s going through,” said Backes. “But he’s in the hands of great doctors, and hopefully he’s back even sooner than I was. He’s a young 20-year-old kid that recovers pretty quickly, and with his energy and his drive hopefully in less than a week he’s back on the ice and scoring more goals for us.
“It’s one of those things where it’s lightning striking twice for us in the same spot. You don’t expect to happen once, let alone twice, in a half-season, but the rest of us need to shoulder that load and make sure we spread it around. We need to take it upon ourselves to be better individually so we can score more goals and win more games. That’s what it’s all about.”
In the meantime, it will be up to players such as Patrice Bergeron, who has struggled offensively with just four goals this season, to pick up the pace offensively and fill the void until the Bruins get their dynamic young goal-scorer back.