David Pastrnak confirms reason for extended quarantine, says it was 'really tough'

Scott McLaughlin
July 28, 2020 - 12:11 pm

David Pastrnak finally returned to Bruins practice Monday after missing all but one day of the team's Phase 3 practices in Brighton.

On Tuesday, Pastrnak spoke with the media via Zoom for the first time since returning to North America from the Czech Republic, where he spent the last few months.

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Pastrnak didn't elaborate much on why his quarantine extended well beyond the initial 14 days for players returning from overseas, but he did confirm that he had to go back into quarantine after practicing at a rink in Malden before rejoining the Bruins at Warrior Ice Arena.

Photos on social media showed Pastrnak and teammate Ondrej Kase, who has still not been cleared to join the team in Toronto yet, practicing with non-NHLers, which was a violation of the NHL's return-to-play protocols.

Pastrnak's agent had previously explained that Pastrnak had to go back into quarantine after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

Pastrnak said he never got sick and didn't think he was doing anything wrong, but that he takes "full responsibility" for his actions.

"I was never sick so I don’t think I did anything wrong," Pastrnak said. "So, obviously it’s a tough bounce there and unfortunately after what happened I had to miss some time. The protocol is to stay in quarantine, so unfortunately I had to be at home for a while. It’s nothing I can control. Obviously, I take full responsibility for my actions and I’m sorry. I’m glad I’m back."

Pastrnak said the whole ordeal was "really tough" and that he's "really happy" to be back on the ice with his teammates.

"To be honest, it’s been really tough," he said. "Twenty-eight days in quarantine. The toughest part about it was that I was healthy the whole quarantine, but at the same time I still couldn’t do anything. So it was really tough, and frustrating at the same time. It was a really long month. I’m really happy that thing is over and I’m finally back with the guys."

As for his first practice Monday, Pastrnak said he was pleasantly surprised by how good he felt.

"It was a lot of fun," Pastrnak said. "It’s been a long ways. I felt really good actually. Hope to just feel better every day."

Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy also liked the way Pastrnak looked Monday and said the energy he injected into the practice was noticeable.

"I thought he looked great," Cassidy said. "Lots of energy, he was flying around. I thought it rubbed off on his linemates. Shot looked good. A couple plays in tight he fumbled the puck. Timing and execution, we’re all going through that a little bit, or have the first week. That’s to be expected. I’m sure he’ll pick that up quickly. All in all, I’d give him an excellent grade. He seemed to be very excited to be there and happy to be with his teammates again."

Cassidy said no decision has been made yet in regards to Pastrnak playing in Thursday night's exhibition game against the Blue Jackets. That is the Bruins' lone exhibition game before beginning the round-robin tournament against the Flyers on Sunday.

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