BOSTON (CBS) — Three more Bruins players have landed in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol, the team announced Thursday. That includes goaltender Jeremy Swayman.

Swayman, Anton Blidh and Trent Frederic were all placed in protocol, along with one member of the Bruins team staff, bringing the grand total to six players and one staffer for Boston. This has all happened since Tuesday, when Boston placed Craig Smith and Brad Marchand in protocol. Patrice Bergeron was added on Wednesday.

Update: Boston placed Oskar Steen and another staffer in protocol ahead of Thursday night’s game, bringing its total up to seven players and two staffers.

The Bruins are set to play the Islanders in New York on Thursday, before departing for a pair of games in Canada over the weekend. Boston is calling up a pair of players from Providence on an emergency basis: Goaltender Kyle Keyser to back up Linus Ulmark in net and winger Jesper Froden. The team did not hold a morning skate on Thursday.

With COVID-19 wreaking havoc on the Boston roster, head coach Bruce Cassidy — who just returned from his own bout with COVID-19 — has been forced to juggle his lines. He believes this will be the way the B’s line up Thursday night in Long Island against the Islanders, but noted that things could change quickly.

Taylor Hall-Charlie Coyle-David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk-Jack Studnicka-Oskar Steen
Erik Haula-Tomáš Nosek-Nick Foligno
Jesper Froden-Curtis Lazar-Karson Kuhlman

Derek Forbort-Charlie McAvoy
Matt Grzelcyk-Brandon Carlo
Mike Reilly-Connor Clifton

“It is frustrating,” Cassidy admitted to reporters during his Thursday morning Zoom call. “But if all these teams come out of it – the players and the staff – healthy and not having to visit a hospital or in ICU, then we are much further ahead than where we were last year. …. With that, there is an opportunity to revisit the protocols going forward. Are people getting sick or is it more like the flu? Those are questions for other people.

“The frustrating level in the short term is guys want to play,” he added. “It’s what they do for a living. Players want to play, coaches want to coach, and they want to do it in a safe environment.”

All of this follows Boston’s win over the Flames in Calgary over the weekend. The Flames have been hit with a COVID-19 outbreak, forcing the league to postpone three of Calgary’s games this week.

Cassidy said the team will remain in New York and practice there on Friday before departing for Montreal. There’s a chance the NHL may be forced to postpone Boston’s upcoming games given the team’s surge in COVID-19 cases, but Cassidy has not heard anything on that front.

“We are packed and ready to go, and everyone is ready for the three games,” said Cassidy. “There has not been a conversation that I am aware of … Tomorrow we might get a phone call based on what is happening around the league.”