The COVID protocol list ‘welcomed’ another Bruins forward on Saturday, with Brad Marchand moved to the list and ruled out of Saturday’s meeting with the Sabres.
One of the game’s top threats in all three zone, the 5-foot-9 Marchand’s 34 points in 2021 are tops among all Boston skaters, and rank as the 15th-most in all of hockey through the first two months and change of the campaign.
Marchand was also one of five Bruins to appear in all 29 games this season. With today’s absence, Patrice Bergeron, Trent Frederic, Charlie McAvoy, and Nick Ritchie are only B’s still with perfect attendance in 2021. This will also be Marchand’s first missed game since he sat out the final two games of the 2018-19 regular season.
Marchand joins Jake DeBrusk and Sean Kuraly on the team’s COVID list.
And with Marchand out, the Bruins will move Trent Frederic to the first line with Bergeron and David Pastrnak.
Frederic’s move up to the first line will put Jack Studnicka back in the lineup on a fourth line with Greg McKegg and Chris Wagner. The second and third lines will remain largely untouched, with David Krejci between Nick Ritchie and Craig Smith on the B’s second line, while Charlie Coyle will center a third line with Anders Bjork on the left and Zach Senyshyn on the right. Senyshyn replaces the injured Karson Kuhlman, who took a shot off the hand late in Thursday’s overtime loss.
“Every player in that room and wants more responsibility,” B’s coach Bruce Cassidy said. “They always want more. So here’s a day where they’ll get some of it. Opportunities are knocking for other players and it’s on them to seize it.”
The Bruins will give the start to Daniel Vladar. Back in the Boston crease with Tuukka Rask ruled out for the weekend, the 6-foot-6 Vladar stopped 34-of-35 shots faced in a Mar. 16 win over the Penguins.