While Tuukka Rask returned to practice on Thursday, the Bruins were again missing a pair of wingers. David Pastrnak and Ondrej Kase were again deemed “unfit to participate” with no details about their absences coming from the team.
The lack of information about any player’s status has predictably led to guessing games. Photos of the two Bruins skating at a local Boston rink surfaced this week, leading to head coach Bruce Cassidy being asked if they were being disciplined for something.
It turns out that, according to Pastrnak’s agent, he’s under quarantine after coming into contact with someone who was COVID-19 positive. J.P. Barry told The Athletic that his client has tested negative, but it’s unknown how long he’ll be isolated from the team. The Bruins are expected to fly to Toronto July 26.
Boyle OK’d to play
As of the Monday deadline, we saw six players and one assistant coach opt out of the Return to Play for various reasons. Some had family concerns and others cited personal health issues that will prevent them from playing.
One player who could have fallen into that group is Brian Boyle of the Panthers. Two years ago he beat chronic myeloid leukemia, but he said Friday doctors told him he is not at any risk when it comes to COVID-19.
“I looked into it, of course,” he said. “As far as my health and where I’m at, everything’s been great. Everything’s all zeroes with the testing, but I have to make sure, so I called up to Dana-Farber [Cancer Institute in Boston] and made sure with my hematologist there, and he was very positive and said, ‘However you’re feeling, the numbers show you’re no more at risk.'”
Kaapo Kakko, who is a Type 1 diabetic, was also a player some thought might have to opt out. But the 19-year-old Rangers rookie was cleared to play after speaking with doctors at home in Finland and with the team’s medical staff.
“I want to play, and I’m so young that my diabetes is OK right now,” Kakko said. “Just keep sugars down and it’s going to be OK.”
Caleb Jones reveals COVID-19 diagnosis
The Oilers defenseman told reporters he had a asymptomatic positive COVID-19 test two weeks ago. He’s fully healthy after staying in isolation.
Caleb Jones back on the ice with regular group after missing first few days.
— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) July 17, 2020
Lightning power play adds Stamkos
— Kailey Mizelle (@KaileyMizelle) July 17, 2020
The Lightning captain has yet to practice with the rest of his teammates after he sustained an injury during Phase 2 workouts. At the start of training camp GM Julien BriseBois said he was confident Stamkos would be in the lineup when Tampa takes on the Capitals Aug 3.
Status known for Crawford
There’s been no sign of Corey Crawford as Blackhawks camp got under way. When will he hit the ice? That’s still an unknown, according to head coach Jeremy Colliton.
“We don’t know. For now, that’s how we’re describing it as ‘unfit to participate,'” Colliton told WGN Radio. “We’ll see. There’s still time.”
Crawford also did not skate during the Phase 2 workouts which began June 8. As of right now, the team’s goaltending depth chart features Collin Delia, Kevin Lankinen, Malcolm Subban, and Matt Tomkins. (What, no Scott Foster?)
“For now, there’s no change, but certainly haven’t ruled [Crawford] out going forward,” Colliton said after Friday’s skate.
The Blackhawks play the Oilers in their Stanley Cup Qualifier series with Game 1 coming on Aug 1. They will face the Blues in their only exhibition game on July 29.
A nice sight to see
Chuck Fletcher and Oskar Lindblom meeting by the locker room today. Very cool.
(📷 by Flyers PR guru Zack Hill) pic.twitter.com/UzskjXMozW
— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) July 17, 2020
Flower blooms in Vegas
While Crawford remains out, Marc-Andre Fleury appeared on the ice for the first time this week. After sitting out the first three days with what the team called “maintenance,” the goaltender joined his teammates Thursday.
The Golden Knights are one of those teams that have options in net between Fleury and Robin Lehner. Camp will give head coach Peter DeBoer a good idea of who he’ll go with to start the round-robin.
“I’m not going to be afraid to play either goalie,” he said. “I’m not sure what it’s going to look like. I’m going to keep an open mind with this because we have two great goalies.”