The Bruins had a couple fairly important faces missing from practice on Monday as both David Pastrnak and Tuukka Rask were “unfit to participate” with the rest of the group in the Toronto bubble.
Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said both were expected to be on the ice for Tuesday’s opener against the Carolina Hurricanes in the first round of the playoffs, but it certainly gives Bruins fans a little anxiety knowing the NHL’s top goal-scorer and their Vezina Trophy finalist goalie were both held out of practice the day before a playoff game.
Get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App
“They were unfit to participate, and I expect they’ll be on the ice tomorrow,” said Cassidy, with a quick turnaround time to prepare for the Hurricanes when NHL teams usually have closer to a week to get ready for their first-round playoff opponent under normal circumstances. “We did work this summer [preparing] for every team and how we install any adjustments we make from team-to-team had to happen on the ice this morning.
“You’d like a day to get yourselves back together, but we don’t have that luxury. We start on [Tuesday] and the schedule is what it is. I would have liked another day just for rest after Sunday’s game, but maybe for us it’s good to get back in it right away. We haven’t been involved in the sudden death playoff atmosphere.
“We’ve been involved in good, hard hockey games [in the round robin], but this just reseeded us. So for us, the first game can’t come soon enough and I think we’ll be completely healthy for that game. We’ll make adjustments as we go along.”
After watching Victor Hedman go down with some kind of lower body injury during Tampa’s round robin games last week, the complete health for the Bruins roster headed into the real playoffs is the best news of all regardless of their wins and losses over the last two weeks.
Here are the line combos and D-pairings at Monday’s practice with Pastrnak and Rask fully expected to play in Game 1 against Carolina:
|Brad Marchand||Patrice Bergeron||Karson Kuhlman|
|Jake DeBrusk||David Krejci||Ondrej Kase|
|Nick Ritchie||Charlie Coyle||Anders Bjork|
|Joakim Nordstrom||Sean Kuraly||Chris Wagner|
|Zdeno Chara||Charlie McAvoy|
|Torey Krug||Brandon Carlo|
|Matt Grzelcyk||Jeremy Lauzon|
|John Moore||Connor Clifton|