|David Pastrnak hopes added weight makes him strong enough for NHL||11.24.14 at 1:03 pm ET|
David Pastrnak obviously isn’t close to being the player he’ll one day be at the NHL level, but the usual shortcomings of a young skilled player are all worth overlooking for the 2014 first-round pick. The only true road block on the ice for Pastrnak playing in Boston this year was going to be his size.
“To throw someone [in] at that age, at that weight…” Peter Chiarelli said, making a face when speaking at the conclusion of July’s development camp. “But there’s been guys that have done it.”
The 5-foot-10 right wing weighed 165 pounds when the Bruins got their hands on him in June’s draft. He was offensively sensational at points during a rookie tournament in Tennessee in September, but he didn’t seem well-suited for board work and was easily pushed away from the net by opposing defensemen. In his second NHL practice, he suffered a shoulder injury on a check from Matt Bartkowski.
Now, after dazzling at the AHL level with five goals and 13 assists for 18 points through 17 games for Providence thus far and being named the AHL’s Rookie of the Month in October, Pastrnak is in Boston and preparing for what could be his NHL debut Monday night against the Penguins.
He’s shown that he has adjusted to the smaller ice in North America after growing up in the Czech Republic and playing the last two years in Sweden, but as he heads to the NHL, the questions of whether he can handle the physicality of hockey’s toughest league aren’t going away.
Pastrnak hopes he can help answer those questions after putting on some weight in Providence. He said he’s bulked up a bit in Providence, guessing that he is currently up to 176 pounds and that the extra weight feels good.
“I feel a lot stronger on the puck and around the boards and in battling,” Pastrnak said. “I think it helps me. I like it. I didn’t lose my speed so much. That’s what I was looking for.”
Pastrnak skated on a line with Jordan Caron and Alexander Khokhlachev in Monday’s morning skate. That has been his line in Providence this season, so the trio at least has familiarity going for it.
When asked about the 18-year-old’s development, Claude Julien spoke about the strides Pastrnak has made as a defensive player. Pastrnak has long looked up to David Krejci, a Czech player who he feels is capable of being dominant offensively while also being responsible in his own zone.
“I think, right now, that’s what David is trying to learn in Providence,” Julien said. “We know how dynamically he makes things happen. He’s a skill player, can score goals but we don’t expect perfection but you have to be at least a little bit reliable defensively.
“That’s what he’s working on over there and he’s gotten better, so that’s where we’re at with him and I guess, like you guys, I’m going to find out a little bit more about him if he plays tonight.”
|Carl Soderberg, Tuukka Rask get into light altercation at Bruins morning skate||11.24.14 at 11:53 am ET|
Soderberg was in Rask’s face when Julien skated over and yelled to separate the two players. Rask is no stranger to losing his temper in practice (he’s stormed off the ice multiple times over the years), but hard feelings have never seemed to linger with the goaltender, who has long been popular among his teammates.
After the morning skate, Rask indicated that he and Soderberg were fine.
“Yeah,” Rask said with a laugh. “Something for you guys to write about.”
Julien was asked about the tussle and, predictably, said all was well.
“It wasn’t even a tussle,” Julien said. “They’ve already kissed and made up, so it’s not an issue.”
For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Chris Kelly and David Krejci remain out, Bruins have multiple game-time decisions vs. Penguins||11.24.14 at 11:50 am ET|
David Krejci and Chris Kelly remain out for the Bruins as they face the Penguins Monday night. Both players were absence from morning skate, with Claude Julien saying afterwards that Krejci has taken a step backwards with his injury and that Kelly is day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.
Brad Marchand is also a game-time decision for the Bruins, with Julien saying there are other forwards who could be in or out due to injury. Both David Pastrnak and Jordan Caron were present for the skate. The lines in morning skate were as follows:
Marchand/Fraser – Bergeron – Smith
Lucic – Soderberg – Eriksson
Paille – Campbell – Gagne
Caron – Khokhlachev – Pastrnak/Griffith
Krejci has dealt with multiple lower-body issues. He battled a hip injury earlier in the season and is believed to be nursing a different issue in the same area. Steve Conroy of the Boston Herald reported Monday that the current issue is a groin pull. Playing through one issue in that area creates strain on others, so it’s possible the current injury is a result of the previous one.
“Right now what I’ll tell you is we’ve taken a step back again,” Julien said. “It’s something that I can’t even go into. It’s been way more complicated… again as you know, these are not machines, these guys, and there’s certain things you try and fix and then you find out there’s a little bit more and nobody knows and nobody should know until you go from one stage to the next.
“The one thing I can tell you is that when he played he was one hundred percent, but we took him out because after that he wasn’t one hundred percent anymore. That’s where it’s tough. You say he’s one hundred percent, should you hold him back? I don’t believe in holding anybody back because if he’s ok the next day then we wasted a game with him, so we’re working on that. The only thing I would tell you is that everything I’m being told, it’s not something we’re going to have to manage all year and I know that’s a big issue in wondering what’s going on but it’s something that’s going to be fixed is what I’m being told. So don’t shoot the messenger.”
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Zdeno Chara begins skating, Bruins announce recalls of David Pastrnak, Jordan Caron||11.24.14 at 10:17 am ET|
Zdeno Chara was spotted on the ice at TD Garden by Steve Conroy of the Boston Herald Monday morning, marking the first time the Bruins captain has been seen skating since being declared out with a torn PCL suffered last month.
Chara is four and a half weeks into what the Bruins said would be a 4-6 week recovery. He is one of three defensemen currently out for the Bruins, as Adam McQuaid is expected to miss 5-7 more weeks with a broken thumb and David Warsofsky is nursing a groin strain. Warsofsky was playing in Boston as an injury replacement.
The Bruins also announced the call-ups of David Pastrnak and Jordan Caron Monday morning. Both transactions were made Sunday. For more on the recall of Pastrnak, click here.
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Bruins recall David Pastrnak, Jordan Caron||11.23.14 at 6:21 pm ET|
The David Pastrnak era will soon begin in Boston, as WEEI.com has learned the B’s will recall the right wing prior to Monday’s game against the Penguins. The news was first reported by Kirk Luedeke of the New England Hockey Journal.
Pastrnak, the Bruins’ first-round pick (25th overall) in June’s draft, has been in Providence all season. He has five goals and 13 assists for 18 points this season in 17 AHL games. His callup comes with the Bruins battling multiple injuries on offense, as David Krejci, Brad Marchand and Chris Kelly all missed Saturday’s game against the Canadiens.
The 18-year-old has skated mostly on Providence’s top line this season. He was named the AHL’s Rookie of the Month in October, his first professional month in North America.
The Bruins sent Jordan Caron and Matt Lindblad, both of whom were recalled for Saturday’s game against the Canadiens, back to Providence Sunday, though the AHL transactions page indicated at the time that Pastrnak was officially recalled that Boston had recalled Caron once again.
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Claude Julien: Given injuries, ‘it almost takes a perfect game’ to beat good teams like Canadiens||11.23.14 at 12:10 am ET|
The Bruins are trying not to use their injuries as an excuse. But they’re also not naive enough to say they’re the same team with Zdeno Chara, David Krejci, Brad Marchand, Chris Kelly and Adam McQuaid all out of the lineup.
Claude Julien acknowledged as much Saturday night after a 2-0 loss to the Canadiens, a game in which the Bruins actually played fairly well, especially considering that it was the second night of a back-to-back. They made a couple mistakes, though, and they couldn’t finish their opportunities against Carey Price.
“I thought we played hard. We competed. We were smart. We didn’t give them much,” Julien said. “It’s unfortunate, but this is where we realize that right now when you play a team that’s healthy and that’s going extremely well, it almost takes a perfect game.”
So far the Bruins have gone 9-5-0 without Chara, including the game in which he got hurt (he went down midway through the first period). That’s obviously pretty good — probably even better than expected — but it’s also come against a pretty soft schedule. Only six of those games were against teams currently in playoff position, and the B’s have gone 2-4-0 in those games.
The schedule doesn’t stay easy, though. Of the Bruins’ next 10 games, seven are against teams currently in playoff position, and there’s also a West Coast road trip in there.
The Bruins hope to start getting some guys back, and they hope to do it without losing anyone else. So far this season, it seems like every time someone returns to the lineup, someone else goes down. While the Bruins are excited for all the young guys who are getting a taste of the NHL, they also admit that it can be a bit of a challenge to stay upbeat seeing one injury after another.
“It’s tough,” Torey Krug said. “You don’t want to see your buddies go through it. Guys go down and miss some time. It’s almost like ‘here we go again, another guy goes down,’ but we can’t focus on that because there’s hockey games to be won, and we just have to keep moving forward.”
In reality, the Bruins don’t have too much to worry about unless they start sliding out of the playoff race. We’ve seen plenty of lower seeds go on deep playoff runs over the years, and a healthy Bruins team could certainly do the same. Given how bad most of the teams behind them are, it doesn’t seem likely that they drop out of the race.
That doesn’t mean there won’t be frustrating nights for fans and players alike, though. With so many top players out, the Bruins simply aren’t a top team right now, meaning there will probably be more nights like Saturday when an admirable effort just isn’t enough.
|Milan Lucic calls 1-punch knockdown from Blue Jackets’ Dalton Prout ‘gutless’||11.22.14 at 10:48 pm ET|
It’s not often that anyone around the Bruins talks about a non-Montreal game after a Montreal game, but that was the case Saturday night when Milan Lucic was asked about the end of Friday night’s game in Columbus.
As overtime came to a close Friday night, Lucic got into a shoving match with Blue Jackets defenseman Dalton Prout after Prout slashed Lucic’s stick out of his hands. Lucic gave Prout a hard shove to the back of the head at one point, and the shoving match eventually escalated to the point where Prout dropped his gloves, anticipating a fight.
Lucic, however, did not drop his gloves. Prout decided to throw a punch anyway and knocked Lucic down with a hard right to the mouth that clearly caught Lucic off guard. Lucic expressed his displeasure with Proust when he was asked about the incident Saturday night.
“I didn’t like it,” Lucic said. “The good thing is we get to play them two more times. … It’s the end of the game. I let him know I wasn’t going to fight him, so I wasn’t prepared and let my guard down. That’s what happens sometimes when you let your guard down. I’ve been in over 100 fights and I never took a shot like that. Like I said, we get two more opportunities to play the Blue Jackets, and I’ll be ready.
“There’s many times that I could’ve done the exact same thing and I held off because a guy’s refusing to drop his gloves. I find it to be gutless. That’s my thoughts on it.”
Latest from Bleacher Report
- Brad Marchand's Hot Streak a Big Reason for the Boston Bruins' Recent...
- Prospect Depth Allows BOS to Not Rush Pastrnak
- Seth Griffith Fitting in on the First Line with the Boston Bruins
- Bruins' Depleted Defense Returns to Reality in Loss to Wild
- Bruins' Patrice Bergeron Records 500th Career Point
- Bruins Players Dress Up as 'Frozen' Characters
- Looking at Bruins Defensive Pairings Without Chara