The Boston Bruins will be without one of their top forwards on Saturday in what has to be considered a must win game for the organization.
On Saturday Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy addressed the media ahead of his team's matchup against the Buffalo Sabres, and it was during that availability that he revealed the team would be without the services of veteran forward Brad Marchand. Although Cassidy did not go into great detail, he informed reporters that Marchand has been placed into the National Hockey League's COVID protocols.
That means the Bruins will be without one of their top line forwards but I suppose that you could argue it comes at the best possible time considering they are set to face off against "the NHL's version of a dumpster fire" as Bruins announcer Jack Edwards so colorfully put it last week. The Bruins are no doubt expecting to pick up a W in this one and it will be important to do so. The Bruins currently have 3 games in hand on the New York Rangers but the Rangers have closed the gap with 3 straight wins, bringing them to within just 3 points of the Bruins playoff spot. The Bruins on the other hand have been quite the up and down team this season and they will need to pick up wins against beatable opponents like the Sabres down the stretch to maintain their playoff position.
Replacing Marchand on that top line will be Bruins forward Trent Frederic whose hard nosed playing style has earned himself quite a few new fans among the Bruins fan base this season. The reaction to Frederic been given such an important role has been overwhelmingly positive on social media, and I think that does truly speak to just how hard Frederic has been playing this season and perhaps even more importantly how hard he has been to play against.
As for any kind of official timeline on when we can expect Marchand to return the simple truth is that we have no idea. We don't know if Marchand tested positive, if there was a false positive, or if he merely may have been in contact with someone else that came down with the virus, making it all but impossible to predict how long he may be in the protocol for.
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