Marchand, Pastrnak, get back into the swing of things
With just a week left until opening night, the Boston Bruins, for the first time in a while, had most of their top players in action for their 3-2 overtime loss to the Detroit Red Wings Wednesday night at TD Garden.
Boston’s premier tandem of forwards in Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak both suited up for the first time since returning from China. With fellow top-liner Patrice Bergeron still sidelined, third line winger David Backes moved back to center to accompany the Marchand-Pastrnak duo on this night.
In the Bruins’ penultimate exhibition, the trio combined for nine shots, while Pastrnak finished the game with his first goal of the preseason.
“Yeah, I mean, it was an up and down game. We had a pretty good start and then we got them back in the game with our kills and penalties,” Pastrnak said about his first domestic preseason game. “You know, it’s still preseason. The ice wasn’t great, you know; so, we tried to keep it simple and, you know, too bad we didn’t win.”
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With such little time left before the season opener in Washington, D.C., the Bruins coaching staff and players have recognized the importance of each training session that remains ahead in camp.
Marchand talked at length earlier in the week about how the team’s trip to China, while a fun experience, didn’t feel like a proper training camp and that he felt the team was behind in terms of chemistry and skating and certainly had some catching up to do.
“It’s a lot different not having two groups over there [in China]. Camp was a lot different this year and it didn’t feel like training camp the first ten days so it’s nice to be back here with the group trying to get back into things before the season starts,” Marchand said last week about his team’s split preseason. “We were probably on the ice half the amount of time as the guys were here. I’d say we are a little bit behind skating wise than we would be in past times.”
Some of the rust that Marchand was alluding to showed up Wednesday night, as the Bruins looked extremely sloppy at times, allowed 35 shots and totaled five penalties.
“A lot of it is some of the guys tonight haven’t played a lot, so I think they’re still a little bit in circling mode and not detail mode, so we’ll have to address that,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said about his team’s sloppy play. So that was certainly part of it. I thought the ice conditions were soft, so the puck was bouncing, so the guys were getting frustrated.”
The Bruins have the day off on Thursday and return to the ice on Friday before their final preseason game on Saturday.