Bruins

David Pastrnak makes his debut at Bruins camp Wednesday

David Pastrnak makes his debut at Bruins camp Wednesday

BRIGHTON, Mass. — The Bruins are close to getting the Black and Gold band back together.

David Pastrnak made his first appearance in Return to Play camp on Wednesday morning at Warrior Ice Arena with a smaller group of young guys, which leaves Ondrej Kase and Trent Frederic as the only players that have yet to suit up for practice three days into the proceedings.

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Pastrnak just finished up his mandatory quarantine period after traveling over from the Czech Republic and Kase has been doing the same thing while the Bruins get ready for the next few months of hockey. The expectation is that the B’s will have their full group of players on Thursday and skate for a couple of days before everybody has an off-day from camp on Sunday.

Anders Bjork has done a fine job filling in on the right side with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand over the last couple of days, but one would expect No. 88 to be on his rightful place on the Perfection Line starting on Thursday.

The good news is that it appears just about everybody came into this camp in tip-top shape and the Bruins have been able to run quick-paced practices while getting into a pretty relaxed flow of things even with the COVID-19 circumstances making it a highly unusual and risky situation.

“Our medical and strength guys said that after a couple of days that it would be a wise thing to do,” said Bruce Cassidy, of the core veterans getting a day off in the middle of the week. “I’ve been saying all along that I thought the recovery part would be important because I thought our guys would stay in shape, and sure enough [we were] right.

I think this has been fine. We’re back to work, we’re back in the building and we’re back around people we enjoy being around doing what we enjoy doing. So far it’s been fine. There are some protocols you’re not used to. We’re all wearing masks when we’re in the hallways even though we’ve all tested negative. I think that’s just an everyday walk of life now.

"I think the real test over the next 10-12 days is when you leave the building and who you’re going to be around. Then once you get into the bubble preparing that you’re going to be there for a length of time if you have some success. Right now I think guys are enjoying it, to be honest with you. We’re behaving differently in our day-to-day routine, but we’re on the ice, working, and playing hockey doing what we love to do. Those things supersede all of the little things we need to be mindful of [during the pandemic].”

Here are the Bruins players skating Wednesday aside from Pastrnak: Jack Studnicka, Connor Clifton, Nick Ritchie, Jakub Zboril, Anton Blidh, Zach Senyshyn, Urho Vaakanainen, Paul Carey, Daniel Vladar and Maxime Lagace.

Providence Bruins create award dedicated to memory of Colby Cave

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Providence Bruins create award dedicated to memory of Colby Cave

Four months after the tragic death of Colby Cave, the Providence Bruins are taking action to ensure his legacy will not be forgotten.

Cave was just 25 years old when he died in April after suffering a brain bleed.

But now the Providence Bruins have partnered with the Cave Family and the Boston Bruins Foundation to create the Colby Cave Memorial Award to honor his commitment to helping those in need. The award will be presented each season to a deserving Providence Bruins player for their dedication to the community and charitable organizations. 

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“The Colby Cave Memorial Award is a special way to honor and remember Colby for his leadership qualities and humanitarian efforts,” said Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney in a statement. “Driven and committed to be an NHL player, Colby was also uniquely unselfish with teammates and anyone that needed help! Emily, the Cave Family and the entire Hockey World lost a great person who was beloved by everyone that was fortunate enough to spend time with Colby Cave.”

"From the first day he stepped into the Dunkin’ Donuts Center to the day he left for the NHL, Colby Cave inspired each and every one of us with his diligence, selflessness and compassion,” added Providence head coach Jay Leach. “Always the first to help, both with his teammates, and throughout our community, Colby set the precedent that we aspire to uphold."

Cave signed with the Bruins as an undrafted free agent in 2015 and spent several years in Providence where he played alongside Bruins like Jake DeBrusk (also a teammate of Cave's in juniors), Sean Kuraly, Matt Grzelcyk, Jeremy Lauzon and others. 

In 239 games with the P-Bruins, Cave often wore the 'A' as the team's assistant captain, racking up 43 goals and 115 points in parts of five seasons. He made his Boston debut in December 2017 and appeared in 23 games with the Bruins over two seasons, but when the team attempted to return him back to Providence in January 2019, he was claimed on waivers by the Oilers, with whom he played 44 games over the last two seasons.

Fans who would like to honor Colby’s memory can do so by donating at BostonBruins.com/Community/Foundation-Donations. The fund’s proceeds go toward community programs with an emphasis on mental health initiatives and providing access to sports for underprivileged children.

NHL Playoffs: Bruins make lineup changes for Game 1; David Pastrnak, Tuukka Rask ready to go

NHL Playoffs: Bruins make lineup changes for Game 1; David Pastrnak, Tuukka Rask ready to go

The Bruins will have a full, healthy group when they take the ice for Game 1 against the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night at the Toronto bubble at Scotiabank Arena.

David Pastrnak and Tuukka Rask were both part of an optional morning skate on Tuesday and Rask will get the start against the Hurricanes after posting a gaudy .955 save percentage against them in the Eastern Conference Final a little over a year ago. Otherwise, it will be rugged rookie D-man Jeremy Lauzon getting the starting nod for the Bruins on the bottom pairing and Connor Clifton coming out of the lineup after he played well in last weekend’s round-robin finale vs. Washington.

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On Monday, the Bruins readied for the “real games” by watching a video that featured all of the coaches', players' and staff’s families wishing the Bruins well from back home, and sending the message that “we are all in it” from Boston. Now that the glorified exhibition games of the round robin are over with, Cassidy said there’s a tangible note of excitement in the group as they ready for the first round.

This is exactly what the Bruins have been waiting five months for while staying sharp and in shape during a global pandemic.

"I think guys right now are pretty focused on the job at hand. That's Game 1 against Carolina,” said Bruce Cassidy. “I think we've all been looking forward to this first playoff game. I think our guys are excited.

“It’s the way we played at the end of the year [with Lauzon] and we’re not burying that part of the season. Clifton played [a round robin game] and Johnny Moore one game, so we probably made that decision back in training camp with the way we allotted the ice time. At the end of the day if we need to make a switch in the lineup then we will, but we felt that gives us the best balance in our lineup of size and puck-moving ability.”

For the Carolina Hurricanes, they are expected to get Dougie Hamilton back after having not played for the last seven months following a broken leg suffered in the middle of January.

With Lauzon in the lineup and the Bruins settling into their middle-6 lines with Ondrej Kase and Anders Bjork on the right side, here are the projected Bruins line combos and D-pairings set to go up against the Hurricanes on Tuesday night:

FORWARD LINES

Brad Marchand Patrice Bergeron David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk David Krejci Ondrej Kase
Nick Ritchie Charlie Coyle Anders Bjork
Joakim Nordstrom Sean Kuraly Chris Wagner

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS

Zdeno Chara Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk Jeremy Lauzon

GOALTENDER

Tuukka Rask