Exhale, Boston Bruins fans. David Pastrnak is back. The superstar winger is expected to practice with the team today in Toronto as they prepare for their round-robin games. Pastrnak has been sitting out after coming in contact with someone who had tested positive for COVID-19. Ondrej Kase, who has also been sitting out, has not yet joined the team in Toronto and will hopefully meet them at a later date. Remember, Kase will be subject to a four-day hotel quarantine after arriving in Toronto–whenever that is.
The Bruins will start their official games on Sunday when they take on the Philadelphia Flyers, trying to lock up the top seed that they held when the season was paused. They’ll have to watch and see who comes out of the qualification round before knowing which team is their first-round matchup.
- It could potentially be the Carolina Hurricanes, but winning that qualification round may be a bit tougher for Rod Brind’Amour’s squad, given that they’re still missing Dougie Hamilton. The defenseman suffered an apparent injury last week during training camp and is still “unfit to play” according to his head coach. Hamilton is on the 31-man roster for the Hurricanes, which also includes Brett Pesce who is dealing with his own injury rehab. Pesce underwent shoulder surgery in March that gave him a four-to-six month recovery timeline.
- Speaking of interesting 31-man rosters, the Colorado Avalanche included several young players that could be interesting difference-makers if inserted into a lineup. Shane Bowers, Bowen Byram and Conor Timmins all made the cut, while Vladislav Kamenev did not. Ryan S. Clark of The Athletic examines what exactly that means for the future of each prospect, while also looking at other pressing issues for the Avalanche like the goaltending battle between Pavel Francouz and Philipp Grubauer.