Pastrnak skates with Bruins, but still out tonight vs. Blues

Pastrnak skates with Bruins, but still out tonight vs. Blues

BRIGHTON, Mass -- Leading goal-scorer David Pastrnak has rejoined the Bruins group for practice, but is still at least a few days away from a return to game action. The 20-year-old right winger will miss his third straight game with an upper body injury suffered nearly 10 days ago when the Bruins host the St. Louis Blues at TD Garden on Tuesday night.

Pastrnak rotated into line rushes on the fourth line as Riley Nash manned the right wing spot with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand on Boston’s top line, and stayed out for extra skating after the rest of the team. It’s been a number of days in a row on the ice for the explosive young forward, but Claude Julien said he wasn’t quite ready to play just yet.

“I just think he’s at the point where he’s not ready to play yet. When he is then he’ll be back in the lineup,” said Julien of Pastrnak, who leads the Bruins with 10 goals and still sits sixth among all NHL players despite missing five games this season already between suspension and injury. “He skated the last couple of days [on his own] and today with us, so like I said before he’s progressing…still day-to-day.”

Perhaps that will change when the Bruins play another back-to-back with a game in Ottawa on Thanksgiving night, and then another evening game on Black Friday at TD Garden against the Calgary Flames.

Tuukka Rask was the first goalie off the ice and should get the start vs. the Blues while Anton Khudobin will get at least one more start for the P-Bruins on his conditioning stint in Providence. Here are the projected line combos and D-pairings for the game vs. St. Louis based on Tuesday’s morning skate with a few line changes in the offing for the Black and Gold:









Donato misses Bruins practice for Harvard class commitment

Donato misses Bruins practice for Harvard class commitment

It might have caused a ripple when Ryan Donato wasn’t on the ice on Tuesday afternoon in St. Louis for Bruins practice on the day after his brilliant, three-point NHL debut for the Black and Gold. But the 21-year-old Donato was still back in the Boston area fulfilling some class requirements at Harvard University to help him close out the current semester properly, and not lose the credits that will keep him in line with fulfilling his junior year at Harvard University.

Believe it or not, the schoolwork is important to the newest member of the Boston Bruins and he intends to study and hit the books on his road trips, and also intends to take classes in the summertime to still graduate on time next season.

“I’m planning on finishing the semester academically. I want to finish the semester academically,” said Donato, after Monday’s morning skate at Warrior Ice Arena prior to last night’s debut vs. Columbus. “Obviously it’s going to be something that’s difficult, but for me it was a dream to graduate from Harvard. I’m putting that off a little bit, but I need to be able to finish this semester in order to have that opportunity, and not put it off for another couple of years. I want to finish out the semester.”

Donato is also still living in the Harvard dorms while “moonlighting” as an NHL hockey player for the rest of the season, but that isn’t all so uncommon among some of the college players that leave school early. Charlie McAvoy was similarly living in the Boston University dorms last spring through Boston’s playoff run, and didn’t clear out of his college living situation until after the Black and Gold had been eliminated by the Ottawa Senators last April.

Missing practices on an NHL schedule is certainly a new one with, Donato, however, and takes the student-athlete concept to a whole new level for somebody that's already turned pro. One has to expect this was one of the things being discussed in full when the Donato family, Ryan's agent and the Bruins discussed his contract terms over the weekend before coming to an agreement.

Along with Donato, who is scheduled to fly into St. Louis and play against the Blues on Wednesday night, Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, Charlie McAvoy, David Backes, Jake DeBrusk, Rick Nash and Torey Krug were all missing from the ice at Tuesday’s team practice ahead of a four game road trip against Western Conference opponents.


Morning Skate: Claude's Habs 'not a very good team'

File photo

Morning Skate: Claude's Habs 'not a very good team'

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while not really digging these forecasts of more snow.

*You know, if he weren’t making millions and millions of dollars I might actually feel bad for ol' Claude Julien up in Montreal busting out the “We’re not a very good team” soliloquy with the Habs. That team flat out stinks this season and these past few weeks it can’t be fun at all being the head coach of that dumpster fire.

*Darren Dreger says there is no rush for the Toronto Maple Leafs to bring back Auston Matthews before he’s ready to go, and that’s absolutely the case so close to the playoffs.

*Here are five Hart Trophy-caliber players that won’t get a sniff of the voting, but deserve some attention nonetheless. There are no Bruins players on the list if you’re wondering, but some pretty good ones in Johnny Gaudreau and Aleksander Barkov.

*The NHL general managers are weighing potential changes to the goalie-interference interpretation ahead of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

*While it still looks a Swedish defenseman is going to be the No. 1 overall pick this June, there are some other players rocketing up the list.

*For something completely different: The definitive ranking of Girl Scout cookies from best-to-worst that we’ve all been waiting for.

*Song of the Week: Haven’t done one of these in a long, long time, but I like this Calvin Harris/Katy Perry/Pharrell Williams tune that I hadn’t heard until the past couple of days.