With the outbreak of COVID-19 on Boston Bruins roster this week, a pair of losses culminating in a postponement of all scheduled games through Dec. 26, that temporary shutdown is the right move to help a flailing team catch its breath.
After defeating the Calgary Flames on Dec. 11, word started to come out of Calgary that Flames players were going into the NHL’s COVID protocol. Knowing what could come next, many held their collective breaths and hoped that B’s players would not follow suit, but it did not take long for the situation to go south in Boston.
Losing Brad Marchand and Craig Smith were the first dominoes to fall in a team outbreak, but when Patrice Bergeron entered the league protocol on Wed. followed by Jeremy Swayman, Trent Frederic and Anton Blidh and a member of the team staff.
By the time Thursday rolled around and their game on Long Island loomed, Oskar Steen became the seventh Boston player to go out of the lineup, with another staffer added to the growing protocol list. The B’s made their date with the Islanders, but despite firing 40 shots on Semyon Varlamov, fell 3-1 to the struggling home team.
At that point, it was evident that even if the Bruins could put a team on the ice, the chances of being a competitive one were diminishing by the minute.