The Boston Bruins continue to take hits amidst a COVID outbreak on their hockey team as Anton Blidh, Trent Frederic and Jeremy Swayman – as well as a B’s staff member — have all been placed on COVID protocol as of Thursday morning.
That raises the total number of missing Boston players to six from the NHL roster as Brad Marchand, Craig Smith and Patrice Bergeron are also unavailable after popping positive test results over the last couple of days.
“You hope the guys play within themselves and tighten up in other areas. If you lose offense, you’ve got to play tighter defense,” said Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy after Wednesday’s practice. “Other guys that get the opportunity have to step up. It’s more about how the team performs as a group rather than any one individual. Other teams have had to battle through it and that’s what is in front of us right now.”
The Bruins are currently proceeding with a Thursday night road game vs. the Islanders at UBS Arena but have been actively discussing the situation with the NHL and Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens organizations about this weekend’s games in Canada. The B’s are very wary of a two-week quarantine period that could leave Boston Bruins players marooned in Canada for the holidays if they pop a positive COVID test while north of the border.
Currently, though, they are doing their best to battle through an outbreak that likely stems from last weekend’s game against the Calgary Flames, who have shut things down this week to try to get their situation under control. The Boston Bruins called up Jack Studnicka and Oskar Steen earlier this week and recalled forward Jesper Froden and goaltender Kyle Keyser on Thursday as they deal with a severely depleted roster. Froden has four goals and 13 points in 21 games for the P-Bruins after signing as an undrafted free agent over the summer, and Keyser is 4-5-3 with a 2.44 goals against average and .914 save percentage in Providence this season.
Here’s a look at the B’s makeshift lines tonight, per Bruce Cassidy: