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Boughner Shares His COVID-19 Ordeal, Says Sharks Are All Healthy

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Credit: NBC Sports California

San Jose Sharks head coach Bob Boughner spoke to the media for the first time since Oct. 29, sharing some details about his positive COVID-19 test the next day.

“It was chaos,” Boughner said of Oct. 30. Seven San Jose Sharks players and Boughner went into COVID protocol that day, and five Barracuda skaters were recalled in their place. Assistant coach John MacLean took Boughner’s place behind the bench.

Boughner said he was mostly asymptomatic and sustained headaches and congestion for four or five days. However, the 50-year-old head coach was still able to remain a part of the San Jose Sharks’ daily operations.

“I say thank God for the vaccines, because I know that they worked,” Boughner said. “I didn’t get sick. And I could still manage my day and go on fairly normal.”

To his memory, Boughner said the first player to test positive was defenseman Jake Middleton on Oct. 30.

Adding to the chaos, Boughner’s mom and dad, both senior citizens, were in town visiting that weekend, staying in his condo.

“That starts a whole new set of fears and worries,” Boughner said. “Thank God they are 11 or 12 days out [now] and they’ve tested negative, so no problems there, but when real life hits you, you understand what people go through and how much it changes your life.”

Boughner noted he moved into a hotel for a few days after his positive test, while his parents were able to fly back to Canada.

“It was a crazy time,” Boughner said. “You’re worried about your team on a five-game homestand and all of a sudden, you’ve got six, seven players and three trainers out and you’re just trying to put a game plan together and find out how you’re going to survive this. That’s why I’m so proud of everybody’s efforts.”

The San Jose Sharks have gone 3-1-1 without Erik Karlsson, Middleton, Radim Simek, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, and Matt Nieto — in the interim, Jonathan Dahlen and Andrew Cogliano came out of protocol, while Kevin Labanc and Timo Meier were added — and Boughner has been pleased with the young guys stepping up in their absences.

With hard-earned wins over the Winnipeg Jets, Buffalo Sabres, and Calgary Flames, the Sharks’ success short-handed has made life a little easier for Boughner and the COVID-affected players.

“I’m proud of the young guys that have come up and stepped up and really play significant roles and significant minutes,” Boughner said. “I think that speaks to the depth in this organization. I think if something like this would have happened last year, I know the results wouldn’t have been the same. Or the year before that.”

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