By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Injured in a fall walking to his ride home following a team dinner on Feb. 10, it’s thumbs down for at least two more weeks when it comes to David Pastrnak’s return to action, per Bruins general manager Don Sweeney.
“The only update today is that [Pastrnak] will be in a cast for two more weeks, and that he started skating today,” Sweeney said Monday. “After that, he’ll be fitted for a splint, and then it’s a matter of comfort.”
And per Sweeney, Pastrnak will not have any restrictions once he’s comfortable in the splint.
It’s the latest step for Pastrnak, who underwent a surgical procedure to fix his thumb on Feb. 12 and was skating without a stick before the start of Monday’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena, to return to a lineup he’s at times carried this season, with 31 goals and 66 points through 56 games this season.
Oddly enough, though, the Bruins have done just fine without Pastrnak on the ice, with a 5-0-1 record and a staggering 23 goals for and 5-for-19 mark on the man advantage. It’s been a product of an awakening from Danton Heinen and Jake DeBrusk, and a four-line structure that’s seen some of the Kuraly-Acciari-Wagner line’s best work.
“I think our group has done a really good job,” said Sweeney. “They attacked the whole road trip as individual games. They felt comfortable against all their opponents. They won in different fashions. I don’t know if they’d really like to script the one in San Jose as, moving forward, as to how they would like to win by, but they found a way to win. Earlier in the year I don’t know whether or not the group would’ve felt like the could’ve won that game, you know, outscored a team like that, so it says a lot about them. They do understand what their identity as a group is, and I don’t think we’ll deviate from that.”
With Charlie Coyle and Marcus Johansson added to the fold in the last week alone via trade — and with Lee Stempniak signed as backup by way of a one-year deal inked on Sunday — Sweeney believes that the B’s are more than capable of staying afloat until No. 88’s back and ready to go for game action.
“I think we’ve complimented that, maybe given them a bit of a buffer by bringing in players that can produce, certainly at the 5-on-5 level,” said Sweeney. “So, we’ve got tough teams ahead of us, down the stretch, and if you’re fortunate enough to get in don’t make the mistake that you think you want to pick your opponent. Every team that gets in is a quality opponent.”
Meaning Pastrnak is more than needed. As soon as he’s comfortable.