98.5 The Sports Hub staff report
The Boston Bruins went through a Saturday session at Warrior Ice Arena with nine players deemed “unfit to play.”
That group of nine included Charlie Coyle, David Krejci, Torey Krug, Sean Kuraly, Tuukka Rask, Nick Ritchie, and Chris Wagner. As well as Ondrej Kase and David Pastrnak, who remain out of action for the Bruins, with Pastrnak in quarantine as a result of coming into contact with a person who tested COVID-19 positive, according to his agent. (It’s almost safe to assume that that this is also the case for Kase, who has consistently been with/around Pastrnak since the two returned to the United States from the Czech Republic for Phase 3.)
And in what may be slightly concerning, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy told reporters after the skate that none of these absent players were dealing with an injury.
“We had no injuries to speak of,” Cassidy, whose team had Sunday off, said. “‘The league has asked us to continue along that [unfit to play] line for the respect of the privacy of the players. That’s what we’ll do. There’s always different reasons; there’s the quarantine rules, there’s waiting on test results, there’s a number of different things that factor into this.
“It doesn’t automatically assume that we have a positive test.”
To that point, Coyle’s agent has already come out and said that the Weymouth, Mass. native had an inconclusive test. Coyle has since tested negative for the coronavirus, per his agent. It’s also possible that the Bruins were giving some of their veterans a maintenance day (Cassidy noted earlier in the week how they picked up the physicality of these recent practices). But Cassidy likely would have just outright said that if that were the case, as he’s not one to let speculation run rampant.
But this the battle the Bruins will find themselves in between now and their journey to Toronto’s “secure zone,” as players will run the risk of exposure until they are essentially walled in within Toronto’s bubble.
“We want to get to Toronto as healthy as possible,” Cassidy admitted. “I guess that’s how I would elaborate on that.”
The Bruins are scheduled to travel to Toronto on July 26.
Once in Toronto, the Bruins will skate in an exhibition contest against the Blue Jackets on July 30, and begin their three-game round-robin tournament for postseason seeding with a head-to-head against the Flyers on Aug. 2.