By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy has given an encouraging update on winger David Pastrnak, who continues to recover from offseason surgery on both his hip and shoulder. Pastrnak has yet to join the Bruins in camp and won’t be ready for the Bruins’ season opener against the New Jersey Devils on Jan. 14. Cassidy also indicated that Pastrnak will still miss all of January.
But now, after originally eyeing a mid-February return, it sounds like Pastrnak could return at some point early that month. That’s what we gleaned from Cassidy’s gloriously chaotic comments. Transcribing the Bruins head coach is always a delightful adventure, but to put it succinctly, Pastrnak is a bit ahead of schedule in his recovery.
“The original prognosis was mid-February, so we feel he’s a little bit ahead of that,” Cassidy said. “How much? We’ve got a ways to go, but let’s get through January and see where he’s at. I don’t like to speculate on the medical part. I’m just repeating what I hear from our guys, so it was originally mid-February coming out of the surgery. Up to this point, which is what, approx. four months now, his rehab has gone very well, no setbacks, and I think because of his natural conditioning, work ethic, that pushes him ahead a little bit.
“It’s too early for me to speculate. I just know he won’t be ready when we head to New Jersey [for the season opener], so after that, a little bit ahead of mid-February. Could that be Feb. 1st, Feb. 4th, I don’t know. I guess getting back from the road trip and having him in our lineup, doing regular practice, is always the best indicator for me, and he’s not there yet so I don’t want to guess.”
One of the key phrases in there, though, is “no setbacks.” If Cassidy jinxes it and Pastrnak has a setback, that could move his timetable back to its original place or further. But for now, it’s an encouraging update for the reigning Rocket Richard trophy winner.
Based on Ty Anderson’s essential reporting from Bruins camp for 98.5 The Sports Hub, it looks like 2017 second-round pick Jack Studnicka is next in line to play on the first line with Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron. Studnicka has the speed and skill to potentially be a top-six forward at the NHL level, so this will be a big opportunity for him to take that step.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff or send him a nasty email at email@example.com.