It’s too early to say whether anyone is out of the COVID-19 woods yet, but the Boston Bruins have taken some important precautions to ensure their season isn’t further uprooted.
The Bruins, like virtually every other team playing through the ongoing pandemic, have had their own problems with COVID. But with the vaccines now readily available, the amount of vaccinated players is growing.
Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy estimated Friday that 75 to 80 percent of the team’s traveling party is fully vaccinated.
“Some guys had or are coming out of COVID, so I don’t think they would qualify yet or would have to wait — like (goalie Jaroslav Halak) for example, just came out of (having COVID) — so I think he might plan on getting it, a couple of guys not on the trip but back home, I’m not sure what their situation was whether they would have got it becaues it was more convenient,” Cassidy explained Friday morning ahead of his team’s game with the Buffalo Sabres. “But I think we’re at about 80 percent, I wanna say. That’s the staff, traveling party so to speak and the players.”
Of course, as those who have been vaccinated can attest, there are some potential side effects, especially following the second dose. The Bruins had an optional skate earlier in the week, allowing for some players who were vaccinated to deal with potential side effects. Asked Friday whether a relatively slow start Thursday in Buffalo could be attributed to vaccine side effects, Cassidy acknowledged it’s possible.
“Some of it was. Some guys had less adverse effects than others,” he said. “A few guys were fatigued, and we knew that might happen. But we want to get the players as quickly as possible — everyone who travels — so we can reduce it in house and don’t have to shut it down in-house. Then for everyone’s family’s sake and society’s sake, we want to get everyone vaccinated as quickly as possible. Again, if we can do that internally around us, it sure helps with some continuity for the season.”
The side effects dilemma is an interesting point to consider, especially when it comes to scheduling around a professional sports team’s schedule. That being said, getting vaccinated as soon as possible seems to make all the sense in the world for a team like the Bruins. Boston has Stanley Cup hopes and is unsurprisingly doing all it can to ensure a COVID outbreak doesn’t disrupt a potential run deep into the playoffs.