Boston Bruins superstar winger Brad Marchand is very aware of the magnitude of COVID19. Marchand told the media that he and his teammates (well most) are doing everything they have to to stay healthy and safe so that they can complete Phase 3 (training camp) of the NHL Return and get to Phase 4 in Toronto for the round-robin stage and the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs. Marchand acknowledged what has happened this week with his linemate David Pastrnak and fellow right winger Ondrej Kase was ‘unfortunate’ but this is part of the ‘new reality’ he, his teammates and all NHL players signed up for in the new collective bargaining agreement in order to pull off this NHL Return and see a team host the Cup.
“It’s unfortunate the times that we’re in, but this is the new reality for right now anyway,” a clearly excited to be talking Marchand said.
Marchand said he didn’t realize all the details on the Pastrnak situation. The 2020 Co-Rocket Richard Trophy winner broke quarantine, came into contact with someone who has COVID19, and then tested negative. Marchand joked that he thought the fun-loving Pastrnak went on a little bender and was sleeping it off.
“It’s kind of news to me about Pasta. I thought he was just on a two-day hangover,” Marchand quipped. “Pasta is going to be back for the playoffs, I’m not really looking too much into it. It doesn’t take long for chemistry to bounce back with us. Even when I’m going down [the ice] with Bjorky now and Bergy, we’re kind of looking [to pass] into the areas where Pasta normally sets up.”
Marchand isn’t worried that the Pastrnak and Kase absences have set the Bruins back because General Manager Don Sweeney has built a deep team that adheres to the ‘Next man up!’ motto.
“The team is just going to have to be willing to be resilient and battle through it, and we’ve done that [before]. We’ve done that the last number of years where we’ve had a lot of guys out and gone through a lot of injuries. There’s definitely a chance that a team’s going to be in the conference finals, or in the finals, and lose one of their top guys.
I would expect with the way things are going to be set up that once we get into the bubble, I can’t imagine that many guys are going to get sick. It’s going to be pretty locked down. We’re going to be kept well away from everybody else. There’s going to be a chance obviously, but I would expect they’re going to do everything possible to make sure that doesn’t happen. That could cost a team, or an organization, millions of dollars if they lose one of their top guys during the finals. They’re going to do what they can to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
As for where his game is at now and if he and Bergeron are concerned Pastrnak won’t catch up to speed on the ice in time for the playoffs, he indicated that’s not even a consideration right now.