Bruins winger David Pastrnak confirmed that he was dealing with a lower-body injury in the playoffs, forcing him to miss Games 2-4 in the first round against the Carolina Hurricanes. He returned to play in the series clincher in Game 5, then played all five games of the second-round loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“It was bothering me pretty much every game,” Pastrnak said in a Zoom call from his home in Prague Friday. “It was something that I could still play. I wasn’t 100 percent at all, but I could play through it.”
Pastrnak said the injury occurred during a game, and he made it clear that it was not sustained celebrating Patrice Bergeron’s game-winning overtime goal in Game 1 of the first round.
Pastrnak and teammate Ondrej Kase skated a number of days in July with a collection of amateur and minor pro players at a Malden rink, prior to the expiration of Pastrnak’s mandatory 14-day quarantine following his return from Czechia. The two had to reenter quarantine. Pastrnak said he felt his conditioning was fine despite missing training camp.
“It’s just unfortunate rules,” said Pastrnak. “I was stuck up in quarantine 28 days with about 20 or 25 negative tests, so that was obviously tough. I really wish that I could have been part of training camp.”
On Wednesday, Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said the conditioning level for Pastrnak and Kase “wasn’t where it needed to be to stand the rigors” of the playoffs. But Pastrnak did not feel that was the case.
“The main focus was the injury,” said Pastrnak, who had three goals and seven assists in the two playoff rounds after not recording a point in the three round-robin games. “That was what was bothering me the most. I think conditioning-wise I was doing good.”
To avoid a similar fate whenever the 2020-21 season is to start, Pastrnak said he will be back in Boston one month ahead of time to make sure he does not miss any time at the next training camp.
MORE: Forward Chis Wagner revealed that he was dealing with an irregular heartbeat in the second period of Game 4 against Tampa Bay. He finished the period, then was administered tests in the intermission. “I had to go to the hospital, and once you go to the hospital, you leave the bubble so you have to quarantine for four days, so I was in quarantine for Game 5.” Diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, Wagner is scheduled to get more tests next week … Sean Kuraly, who did not play in the final three games of the Tampa Bay series, was dealing with a groin injury. “It actually had been a couple of games,” said Kuraly. “Just a nagging injury that I tried to play with for a couple of games. It just got to a point where we realized not only was it not able to heal while we were playing, it was just getting worse.” Kuraly said he will not need surgery.