( Photo by Steve Babineau / NHLI via Getty Images )

By: Carter Hochman | Follow me on Twitter @Carterr33

It was merely days after the Calgary Flames outbreak was announced that Bruins fans’ biggest concerns were validated, and they’ve been hit hard. First, it was Craig Smith. Not too long afterward, it was Brad Marchand. Now, it’s Patrice Bergeron. Three of the top six forwards for Boston and a growing list around the rest of the NHL is a significant cause for concern.

With three games in the next four days for Boston (Islanders, Canadiens, Senators), the Bruins will have to rely heavily on a thinned out lineup and call-ups from Providence, and that’s only if things don’t continue to get worse, which they inevitably will at this point. It will more than likely be Coyle on the first line in between Pastrnak and Hall, and honestly, the rest of the line pairings are up for some debate, but that’s a debate I won’t get into here.

This is all coming on the heels of head coach Bruce Cassidy’s return from his own quarantine, and quite frankly, it was a less than ideal return, to put it lightly. Being without Craig Smith and Brad Marchand last night vs. the Golden Knights was an ugly display of hockey, and Jeremy Swayman looked iffy, to say the least. Swayman’s play definitely is mirrored by the game that’s being played in front of him, and if I’m being honest, I think that says a lot about his ability to steal games for this team, and that’s not an indictment on Swayman’s play, it just shows you how truly little time he’s spent in this league, and how much development he still needs to go through.

I think we can all agree that a league-wide postponement of games is unavoidable, rapidly approaching, and very necessary. It might be a hard-to-swallow pill, but this all comes down to the health of the players, which should always be paramount.

I’m well aware that we as fans are almost programmed to say “the show must go on” and “they have a job to do,” but at the end of the day, these are people with families that the majority have young children at home they also need to protect. This is a situation that’s bigger than hockey.