Aside from a lot more lettuce sticking through his helmet, there wasn’t a whole lot different about David Pastrnak upon taking to the ice up in Toronto on Monday afternoon.
Even after being limited to just one skate at Warrior Ice Arena during Boston’s Phase 3 workouts, the B’s star winger looked no worse for wear in Boston’s first practice up in their “Phase 4 Secure Zone” — uncorking a number of shots from his usual spot at the left circle while participating in odd-man rushes with his regular linemates in Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand.
“I thought he looked great,” Bruce Cassidy said of Pastrnak’s play. “Lots of energy, he was flying around. Thought it rubbed off on his linemates, shot looked good. … All in all, I’d give him an excellent grade. He seemed to be very excited to be there and happy to be with his teammates again.”
Given Pastrnak’s extended time away from the ice during Phase 3, Cassidy said that it remains to be seen if the 24-year-old forward will take part in Boston's exhibition matchup against the Blue Jackets on Thursday. However, just getting the reigning "Rocket" Richard Trophy winner back into the fold and up in Canada is already a victory in and of itself for both Boston and Pastrnak — especially given how he spent most of the previous month.