Boston Bruins star winger Brad Marchand was placed in COVID protocol early Tuesday afternoon. Marchand was on the ice for the team’s game-day skate ahead of their game against the Vegas Golden Knights Tuesday night at TD Garden and the team updated his status following practice at Warrior Ice Arena.
Marchand joins Craig Smith on a growing B’s COVID protocol list just a couple days after the team the Boston Bruins played the Calgary Flames, who have had to shut down operations due to a COVID outbreak this week. Marchand skated in his customary Perfection Line spot with Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak on Tuesday morning, but it’s assumed that Taylor Hall will again play up in that top line left wing spot as he did when the Little Ball of Hate was suspended for three games a couple of weeks ago.
Marchand could be out for as much as a handful of games if he’s serving out a 10-day quarantine following the positive test result.
On Monday, Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy returned from a bout with COVID and a 12-day stint in COVID protocol. Bruins defensemen Connor Clifton and John Moore, as well as goalie Linus Ullmark, missed practice Monday due to COVID testing issues but were all back on the ice Tuesday. Following practice on Monday, Cassidy acknowledged the potential that his team could end up being affected by the Flames’ outbreak.
“Now you see what happens with Calgary, they’re shut down. So are there any after-effects for our guys because we just played there? We hope not in the long run. So it is tough but that’s the way the world is now and you’ve got to battle through it,” Cassidy told the media.
After six Flames players and a staff member tested positive Sunday night, they were placed in COVID protocol on Monday morning and remained home in isolation. Three more Flames players, including old friend Milan Lucic, joined them on Tuesday. With the team having to cross the US border for its next scheduled game in Chicago, they and the NHL decided it was time to shut things down and postponed at least the next three games for the Flames.
“As an appropriate precaution, the team’s training facilities have been closed, effective immediately, and will remain closed for Players until further notice,” the league said in a release Monday. “The league is in the process of reviewing and revising the Flames regular season schedule.
“The Flames organization has followed, and will continue to follow, all recommended guidelines aimed at protecting the health and safety of its players, staff, and community at large as set by the NHL, local, provincial and national agencies.”
This is the third time this season a team has had games postponed because of COVID. The Ottawa Senators and New York Islanders were also unable to play scheduled games due to COVID outbreaks.
As of early Tuesday afternoon, Smith and Marchand were the only players in COVID protocol for the Boston Bruins.