BOSTON – Just when you thought the Boston Bruins might be completely over the COVID-19 issue, they had another blip on the radar screen after playing their first game in two weeks this weekend. In the hours following Saturday’s 4-3 overtime win for the Boston Bruins over the Buffalo Sabres at TD Garden, reserve forward Karson Kuhlman was placed in the league’s COVID protocol.
The Bruins announced that Kuhlman was out at least for the next handful of days and Oskar Steen had been called up from the Providence Bruins and placed on the team’s taxi squad. Steen joins John Moore as the two players that the Black and Gold have placed on the taxi squad to this point giving them a few extra players just in case there are any more COVID outbreaks.
The Bruins had 11 different players go through the NHL’s COVID protocols over the last two weeks while they were shut down due to a teamwide outbreak, but they’d gotten the last player back late this week when Charlie Coyle returned to practice prior to scoring Saturday’s overtime game-winner against the Sabres.
All those players had expressed hope that the worst of the COVID stuff was in the rear-view mirror given that the majority of Boston’s roster players have now cleared the virus this season.
“For myself personally, I’m pumped that for the next little while here I don’t have to test or do anything like that, that I have certain immunities for it,” said Carlo on Friday after experiencing mild symptoms. “It’s nice for the guys who have gotten it to be able to move forward and focus on the hockey season, because that’s what we wanted to do all along. A good chunk of us got it. We’ll see if we have another flare-up but, yeah, I definitely think we can put together some situations here with all the guys who’ve gotten it to play a fair game and go out and compete.”
Kuhlman did not play in Saturday’s win over the Sabres and hadn’t played a game since the Dec. 16 loss to the New York Islanders, their last game prior to the two-week COVID/holiday break that ended this afternoon. Kuhlman has a goal and two points in 18 games for the Bruins this season while the 23-year-old Steen has two assists in three games for Boston this season.
Steen does have 10 goals and 20 points in 16 games for the P-Bruins this season and has pretty indisputably been the AHL club’s best player for most of the year.