Boston Bruins: Maintenance days are here for the 2021 season

Boston Bruins, Patrice Bergeron #37 (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Boston Bruins, Patrice Bergeron #37 (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

In a normal NHL season, 82 games are spread out over six months. There are plenty of gaps in the schedule to give veterans much-needed days off. The 2020-21 NHL season for the Boston Bruins and the rest of the league is anything but normal.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic that is nearly 11 months old, the sports world has had to adjust to different seasons. The NHL has new realigned divisions, games being played at most arenas without fans and they are attempting to play a 56-game schedule for each team in 114 days. A crammed schedule leaves little time for days off.

While some teams are having COVID-19 issues which is causing games to be canceled and practice facilities to be closed, other teams are rolling right along with their seasons. One way that coach Bruce Cassidy is giving his guys a rest is with maintenance days on practice days.

Bruins giving veterans maintenance days is the right call.

The Bruins are Stanley Cup contenders, but for how many more years? With a core that is aging, giving them as much time off is something that Cassidy and his staff should do.

Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Krejci are not getting any younger. Marchand is coming off of offseason sports hernia surgery and was a question to even begin the season on Opening Night. Fortunately for the Bruins, he has played in every game and been a big part in helping them off to a 3-1-1 start.

David Pastrnak, the Bruins leading goal-scorer from last season with 48 tallies, is working his way back from offseason hip surgery. Monday, he lost the non-contact jersey for the first time this season at practice and is inching closer and closer to returning. When he does finally return to the lineup, expect Pasta to join Marchand and company with maintenance days at practice.

Bergeron got a maintenance day on Monday and like the other veterans, expect his maintenance days to climb as we get deeper into the season. In net, Rask will share a bulk of the schedule with Jaroslav Halak, which should keep the former Vezina Trophy winner in 2014 fresh for what the Bruins hope is a deep playoff run in the spring and into the summer.

As the 56-game sprint to finish line in May picks up, expect Cassidy to give his core veterans more maintenance days off at practice as keeping the core fresh and healthy is a key for this season.