In this week’s edition of Boston Bruins News & Rumors, David Pastrnak will get a chance to play in the 2022 Winter Olympics, as he selected to play on Team Czech Republic. Meanwhile, his teammate in Patrice Bergeron, who will likely play for Team Canada, told reporters he plans to continue playing hockey until his passion for the game burns out. In other news, both John Moore and Curtis Wagner were put on waivers on Saturday. Last but not least, Curtis Lazar is being listed as week-to-week after being hurt during Wednesday’s game versus the Washington Capitals.
Pastrnak Named to Olympic Squad
In a very non-surprising move, Team Czech Republic announced Pastrnak as one of its first-three players named to the team, alongside Tampa Bay Lightning forward Ondrej Palat and Columbus Blue Jacket forward Jakub Voracek. The 25-year-old will be the top player on a team that has a chance to surprise some people at the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Pastrnak had an up and down 2020-21 season, scoring 20 goals and 48 points in 48 games. In 2021-22, he should bounce back to his elite level status, similar to the 2019-20 season in which he posted 48 goals and 95 points in 70 contests.
Bergeron Speaks on NHL Future
When training camp first began for the Bruins, Bergeron caused worry amongst the fanbase when he said he wasn’t thinking about a contract extension right now. Some assumed that meant that the 36-year-old may retire, or at least consider retiring, at the end of the 2021-22 season. However, he expanded on those comments this past week, and doesn’t sound like a player who is done anytime soon.
“It’s the same,” Bergeron told reporters. “Every time I’m away from hockey, I miss it. I want to go back to it. I want to read about it. I want to learn some things. It’s part of my DNA. That passion is definitely still there. The day that it won’t, it’ll be the day to stop doing this. It’s important to do it for a reason and have that drive and will to get up and better yourself and help your team as much as possible.”
These comments will be music to Bruins fans ears, as they don’t want to see Bergeron retire any time soon. Despite his age, he is still one of the elite two-way centers in the game. In 54 games last season, he recorded 23 goals and 48 points, and can be counted on for similar production in 2021-22.
Bruins Make Final Roster Cuts
Like every team, the Bruins have been forced to make some tough decisions in regards to their roster as they prepare for the 2021-22 season. Many were surprised to see on Saturday that they chose to waive both John Moore and Chris Wagner. However, it has since been announced that Moore will remain with NHL club, while Wagner will be assigned to the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League (AHL).
Perhaps the most surprising roster decision made was that of Jack Studnicka, who failed to make the opening night roster despite an impressive training camp. Many expected the highly skilled 22-year-old to take over David Krejci’s role as the second line center, but the coaching staff clearly has a different plan, at least for the time being. With him being sent down, Charlie Coyle will likely play that role.
Lazar Expected to Miss Time
One player who was able to crack the main roster, and rather easily, was Curtis Lazar. Unfortunately however, the Bruins may not be with him when they begin their season. The 26-year-old appeared to hurt himself while driving the net in a game on Oct. 6 against the Washington Capitals, and according to head coach Bruce Cassidy, he may miss some time.
“[Lazar] has an upper-body [injury] that’s going to require a little more time – because of the inflammation – to get an exact diagnosis,” Cassidy told media. “But right now, we’re going to list him as week-to-week and hopefully it’s in the short end of that than the long one.
“But give him a few days and then we’ll have a better idea.”
Lazar was acquired by the Bruins at the trade deadline alongside Taylor Hall in a trade with the Buffalo Sabres. Though he wasn’t the reason for excitement in that trade, he has turned into a very solid fourth liner for the Bruins. In 17 games with them last season he tallied two goals and four points.
Up Next for the Bruins
With their exhibition games all completed, the Bruins will now wait until Oct. 16, where they will take on the Dallas Stars in both their season and home opener. They then have three nights off before taking on the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday, the Buffalo Sabres on Friday, and the San Jose Sharks on Sunday to wrap up their opening week.
Colton Pankiw is a former Jr. A hockey player who now provides his knowledge of the game through writing. He’s been a very active and reliable source for nearly two years at The Hockey Writers. He is a credentialed writer for the Calgary Flames but also does features on other teams throughout the league. Other writing contributions include: Oil On Whyte, NHLtradetalk.com, and Markerzone.com. Colton is also a co-host of both Oilers Overtime and Flames Faceoff podcasts. Any interview requests or content info can be made through him on Twitter. Take a look at his work here.