David Pastrnak, Ondrej Kase return to ice for Bruins

Scott McLaughlin
July 15, 2020 - 10:08 am

Speaking to the media before Wednesday's practice, Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said he was hopeful David Pastrnak and Ondrej Kase, his top two right wings who had both missed the first two days of practice due to international quarantine protocols, would both be back on the ice.

As it turns out, the Bruins got one of the two back. Much to the delight of Bruins fan, video surfaced on social media of Pastrnak, with a little longer hair than usual, hitting the ice at Warrior Ice Arena for the first time since returning from the Czech Republic.

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Kase was not on the ice for the main portion of practice, but he did eventually hit the ice after the rest of the guys who practiced Wednesday had finished. It's unclear as of Wednesday afternoon why Kase didn't take the ice until after everyone else. It's possible his quarantine protocols weren't cleared until literally that moment.

As long as the trade deadline acquisition is able to practice with the full team Thursday, there shouldn't be much of an issue. Wednesday was a limited practice for the Bruins anyway, with just about all the regulars getting planned maintenance days, including the two guys Kase is expected to start on a line with -- David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk.

Cassidy has said he wasn't too concerned about Pastrnak and Kase missing a couple early practices, as long as it didn't stretch much beyond that. Both were able to skate back home in the Czech Republic -- before most of their North American counterparts, in fact -- so it's not like they're coming in completely cold.

Cassidy said Pastrnak always takes care of himself anyway and is hopeful he can get back to his league-leading goal-scoring form quickly.

"Pasta’s always in good shape, so I’m sure he was doing what he needed to do to get ready over there," Cassidy said. "We didn’t monitor them on a daily basis. Let’s get him on the ice and see how he is. I suspect he’ll get right back up to speed. He’s a guy who loves the game. I’m sure he was around it in some capacity whether it was rollerblading, skating, firing pucks, whatever he was doing in his spare time.

"Like the other guys, I’m sure he’ll take a little bit of time to get going, but I anticipate he’ll pick up where he left off, but time will tell on that part. Timing is important this time of the year, I think for everybody. You can’t help but think it’s going to be off a little bit. The team that gets it back the quickest, the individuals who get it back the quickest, especially with his shot. He’s got a great one-timer. His release is second to none in the National Hockey League. Let’s hope that’s up to speed, but again, until he gets out there and plays at a high speed with people around him, it’s anybody’s guess. But I anticipate he’ll be fine."

As for Kase, if he is on the ice for the next full-squad practice on Thursday, there should still be enough time for him to catch up and get a good amount of reps with Krejci and DeBrusk, assuming that is indeed the line he's on. Detailed line work and five-on-five game situations haven't even really started yet. But if he isn't part of the main group on Thursday for some reason, you'd have to imagine the missed reps would start to become more of a concern, especially given he had only played six games with the team before the pause.

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