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,

After exploding for 10 goals over their last two games, the Bruins appear on the cusp of getting their 2019-20 leading scorer back in action, as David Pastrnak ditched his non-contact red for a regular white practice sweater for Monday’s practice.

The sweater swap really was the important thing to note here, too, as this meant that Pastrnak, who underwent a hip procedure last September, was able to take contact in any battle drills. And he did.

How Pastrnak, who is unlikely to play in either Tuesday or Thursday’s home games against the Penguins according to Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy, reacts to that in the coming days will be the big test for both Pastrnak and the Bruins.

“We’ll see how he handles [contact],” Cassidy said after Monday’s session. “If it goes well and he wakes up [Tuesday] and the next day, depending on how much contact he needs, and doesn’t feel any aftereffects then we’ll consider putting him in the lineup.”

Pastrnak spent Monday’s practice alternating with Jack Studnicka on the right side of the Bruins’ second line with David Krejci and Nick Ritchie. But Cassidy noted that when back in action, Pastrnak will immediately make his way back to the first line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand.

It’s entirely possible that the Bruins may have to save Pastrnak from himself, too. At least based on Pastrnak’s first post-practice Zoom session with the media Monday.

“I’m itching to get out there,” Pastrnak, a co-winner of the 2019-20 Rocket Richard Trophy with Alex Ovechkin, admitted. “It’s been a good day today. Hopefully I get more good days like today.”

If Pastrnak does get more days like Monday, a return to action for Saturday’s road tilt in Washington looks to be likely.

“He’ll probably travel with us and go from there,” Cassidy offered. “But let’s see how he does [Tuesday].”

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.