In what has been a recurring trend during the Bruins’ “Return To Play” camp, the Original Six club received both good and bad news when it comes to the league’s new “unfit to participate” directive.
After missing nine regulars in their lineup for Saturday’s afternoon practice, six of those absent skaters rejoined the team for on-ice work on Monday — with Charlie Coyle, Tuukka Rask, David Krejci, Torey Krug, Sean Kuraly and Nick Ritchie all cleared to practice once again.
David Pastrnak and Ondrej Kase were once again ruled out — with Charlie McAvoy, Anton Blidh and Chris Wagner also out of commission. Monday marked the first practice that McAvoy has missed during Phase 3, while Pastrnak and Kase have now missed six of Boston’s first seven practices during camp.
With a number of regulars cleared once again to participate, the Bruins were able to at least organize an extended scrimmage on Monday morning, a positive step during a Phase 3 that has often had Boston’s coaching staff adjusting on the fly.
“We're basically going into every day with two practice plans — one will include a larger group, how we can stretch out scrimmages if we don't have that many players, giving the players the adequate rest,” Cassidy said. "Again, I'd like to have everyone on the ice at same time for the continuity aspect. As far as us as coaches, we'll adapt.
“We'll make sure we get our work in but it's the players that miss — especially the ones that are doing things the right way right now — and they miss a practice for whatever reason, through no fault of their own, I feel bad for them, because again, they're trying to social distance and do everything right so they can participate, but hopefully they'll be back tomorrow.”
Here is the lineup that Boston rolled out for Monday’s skate:
Given the lack of a consistent lineup when it comes to scrimmages and other in-game situations, Cassidy added that the Bruins haven't made any concrete decisions when it comes to their lineup, although he did add that certain players like Kase and Ritchie could have a bit more ground to make up — not just because of "unfit to participate" designations (in Kase's case), but because of their unfamiliarity with Boston's system.