Boston Bruins

Dec 23, 2019; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins right wing David Pastrnak (88) gets set for a face off during the first period against the Washington Capitals at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

By Ty Anderson,

Half an hour before the puck dropped on Game 2 between the Bruins and Hurricanes, it became official: the Bruins were going to have to do this without the services of 48-goal scorer David Pastrnak.

“[Pastrnak] was questionable from the game yesterday afternoon and this morning he was getting treatment,” Bruce Cassidy said following his team’s 3-2 Game 2 loss on Thursday night. “Unfit to participate, but we don’t believe it will be long term, that’s a day-to-day thing we hope.”

Ah, that old, intentionally vague “unfit to participate” thing.

The ‘good’ news, was that this seems to be injury-related and not COVID-related. The latter would have likely come with a longer absence that would’ve essentially guaranteed an extended absence through at least Game 3. (The fact that this wasn’t COVID-related was unofficially confirmed by Pastrnak’s presence at the arena, too, as the NHL would not have let him out of his hotel room and into their one game arena had he tested positive for the coronavirus.)

As for when the potential injury occurred (if at all), many were quick to point towards the ice-level clip of Patrice Bergeron’s Game 1 double-overtime winner, which appeared to show Pastrnak in some discomfort after his celebratory jump in the air.

No matter the issue hitting him with an UTP in Game 2, and even with the belief (hope) that it’s a mere day-to-day issue for Boston’s top goal scorer, Pastrnak isn’t considered a lock for Game 3.

Especially with the Bruins working behind schedule after back-to-back games and a 12 p.m. start on Saturday.

“Obviously targeting Saturday at noon,” Cassidy admitted. “But until we see him tomorrow — and [it is] a tough Saturday at noon because it’s tough to test it and get out skating in the morning [without a] skate type of thing — it’ll probably be right down to the game time again on Saturday.”

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.