The Boston Bruins went into Tuesday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings without both first-line winger Brad Marchand and head coach Bruce Cassidy.
Marchand on Monday was suspended three games for slew-footing Oliver Ekman-Larsson in Sunday?s win over the Vancouver Canucks. Both captain Patrice Bergeron and general manager Don Sweeney have since defended Marchand.
Additionally, Cassidy was placed in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol Tuesday morning.
Taylor Hall, who took Marchand’s spot on the top line alongside Bergeron and David Pastrnak, was asked about how the absences impacted Boston’s preparations.
“Everything happened really fast,” Hall said Tuesday after Boston’s 2-1 loss to Detroit. “You know, the (Marchand) thing came out last night and then come to the rink this morning and know that (Bruce Cassidy) not going to be behind the bench. You got to adjust and that’s the world that we live in right now.
“And that’s the season and the league that everyone in league has to go through at some point this year,” Hall said. “It doesn’t seem like COVID is going away right now and every team has had to battle through some things. And right now that’s some adversity that we have.”
Bruins assistant coach Joe Sacco took Cassidy’s place behind the bench.
“I was rusty, but I think that once the puck drops and you start looking at certain matchups that you’re trying to obtain, and you just get into things, and they kind of flow smoothly for you at that point,” Sacco said after the game. “But yeah, it’s been a while. Hopefully shake that rust off and maybe I’ll be better next game.”
It’s not yet known when Cassidy will return behind the bench, as Sweeney did not elaborate on anything besides to say the coach was “feeling overall fine.”
The Bruins return to the ice Thursday in Nashville against the Predators.