For as much time as the Boston Bruins spend on the ice, there is an equal if not greater amount spent traveling, resting and recovering. Players often have enough leisure time to spend before puck drop both at home and on the road.
Jake DeBrusk and David Pastrnak spend their time off over video games. The pair of young and charismatic wingers formed a bond over the critically acclaimed game Fortnite and often team up once they return home from morning skates.
“Pasta actually forced me to get a Nintendo Switch so I can play Fortnite with him,” DeBrusk said. “I’m pretty much on that switch anytime he calls me up. If I don’t answer he gets pretty mad at me. In the hotels and at home, we have a ritual pretty much. A routine that seems to work for him so I’m not going to stop doing it.”
Just as he is on the ice, Pastrnak, the NHL’s leading goal scorer, remains competitive when it comes to Fortnite.
“I was never a big video game guy,” Pastrnak said. “Then a couple of guys started playing Fortnite a couple years ago. We started to like the game so we played a little. It’s a good game and a great way to spend some relaxing time.”
The duo typically messes around and plays until they have won a few victory royales. But, unlike their team’s hot streak, the duo have slumped a bit in the virtual Fortnite kingdom according to DeBrusk.
Brekaing out of that Fortnight slump might take a little longer than snapping a goal drought on the ice. At times, they’ve waited several hours up until they have to leave and become professional hockey players again.
“We don’t stop playing until we usually win. And sometimes it gets around 4 or 4:15 and we have to leave for the game,” DeBrusk added. “He doesn’t let me nap unless we win.”
DeBrusk and Pastrnak made Fortnite their primary video game choice, but they don’t limit themselves there. Madden, Call of Duty and the NBA 2K series all fall under their realm of expertise when they want to switch things up. And, of course, they wouldn’t be hockey players if they didn’t mix in a few games of EA’s NHL series.
Yet, DeBrusk, Pastrnak and teammate Charlie McAvoy don’t play as themselves in the virtual world. Instead, they create their own players and form a team with some of McAvoy’s former Boston University teammates.
“We play NHL sometimes with Charlie [McAvoy]. He’s got some friends at BU that play on a team,” DeBrusk added. “My guy is like a 5-foot-7 sniper that has got 95 speed. If you touch him he gets blown up,”
Their comedic personalities and recognizable voices would make for an entertaining virtual experience, yet they opt for different names in the video game world: DeBruskashev for DeBrusk and Kimbo Slice for McAvoy.
“Mines actually DeBruskeshev because I used to play with Malcolm Subban he was Subbannashev and I always liked that,” DeBrusk said. “Charlie’s is funny, he’s Kimbo Slice and he’s just buzzing out there with an enforcer defenseman. I don’t think anyone really knows whats going on.”
The next time you encounter an undersized winger named DeBruskashev, know that you are playing against a member of the Boston Bruins.
Matt is a recent graduate from the Pennsylvania State University with a degree in sports journalism and a minor in business. He currently reports on the Boston Bruins and writes featured stories and game recaps for both Bruins Daily and Boston.com
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