The Bruins are saying there’s a chance.
There’s no guarantee he’s going to play in Game 5 of the first round series between the Bruins and Carolina Hurricanes, but Bruins right winger David Pastrnak will be taking pregame warmups ahead of puck drop at 4 p.m. at Scotiabank Arena.
“He’s going to go for the warmup. He’s feeling much better. I don’t want to speculate who comes out, simply because if Pastrnak can’t go then it’s an unnecessary move,” said Bruce Cassidy. “Obviously if he’s healthy he’s going to go back in with [Patrice] Bergeron and [Brad] Marchand.”
It will be interesting to see what they do if they opt to hold Pastrnak out after the 24-year-old has missed each of the last three games with an upper body injury.
They could stick with Anders Bjork after getting less-than-stellar results over the last three games, they could try out a youngster like Jack Studnicka who's looked promising during limited playing time or they could rearrange their forwards and give the line a different look by loading up with Charlie Coyle on the right-hand side. The guess here is that Studnicka would get a look after Bjork hasn’t been able to grasp hold of the gig in Pastrnak’s absence, and maybe Coyle would get some time there later in the game depending on how the Bruins are doing.
Overall, though, one has to wonder why they would even think about playing Pastrnak up 3-1 in the best-of-seven series against a Carolina team that effectively had its heart ripped out of in the third period of Game 4. The Bruins will be due a few off-days prior to the next series if they can wrap it up in five games and that would give Pastrnak ample time to rest, recover and be as close to 100 percent as he can be regardless of the quality opponent they expect to face in the next round.
Clearly if Pastrnak is feeling good enough to take warmups, however, his return is imminent — whether he's needed in this first round series, or in the next round of play in the Toronto bubble.