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Bruins Captain Patrice Bergeron Enters COVID Protocols

The hits keep coming for Boston. The Bruins announced captain Patrice Bergeron has entered COVID protocols, joining linemate Brad Marchand and forward Craig Smith. These positive results more than likely stem from their trip to Canada, specifically Calgary. The Flames have a total of 9 players, 1 staff member currently in protocols. The NHL has postponed Calgary’s games through the Christmas holiday. The Bruins are set to face-off against the New York Islanders on Thursday. There’s a possibility that could change pending further testing.

Losing Bergy

Losing Patrice Bergeron to COVID protocols will likely add to Boston’s woes. Bergeron plays a critical role, his leadership as team captain will certainly be missed, it’s his face-off circle presence that might be more valuable to the team. In the last 5 games, Bergeron has been in 139 face-off attempts, winning an impressive 91 (65.4%). As one of the league’s best 2 way forwards, he’s blocked at least 1 shot in every one of Boston’s last 5 games while counting for 5 points (2 goals, 3 assists). Bergeron has also accounted for 22 of Boston’s 142 shots on goal since December 4th. Currently, Bergeron has 23 points in 25 games played this season.

Boston’s First Line

As of December 15, 2021, two-thirds of the Perfection Line is unable to play for at least 10 days or 2 negative COVID tests at least 24 hours apart. The Bruins have been without Marchand for a handful of games this season due to suspension. Latest being last night with a 4-1 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights. The Bruins are 1-2-1 without Marchand on the bench. The first line has only notched 2 points in the 4 games without Brad Marchand.

League Wide Pause?

This is a very fluid situation across the league. The NFL has already enacted enhanced protocols league wide as a result of 36 positive COVID tests among players, it is very likely that the NHL will follow suit. The NHL has had over 30 players test positive, as well. According to ESPN, the league is holding calls with  their doctors last night and into today. There’s a distinct possibility that we see an announcement later on today regarding enhanced protocols.

The recent outbreak is league wide, which has raised the question, at least among fans: Should the NHL postpone all games through the holiday? As the NHL has already postponed games for Calgary and Carolina, the idea isn’t too far-fetched. However, the league still views a pause as a last resort, according to ESPN.

-Jess Donahue (@jldx392)

Featured image: Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images

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