Khan’s notebook: Wings just doing what they’re able to avoid COVID outcomes

MLive’s Ansar Khan filed a notebook article in which Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill and captain Dylan Larkin expressed understandable concerns about playing the Carolina Hurricanes Thursday despite a widespread COVID outbreak on the Canes:

The Red Wings placed forwards Robby Fabbri and Michael Rasmussen in COVID protocol on Wednesday. They will not be in the lineup Thursday against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena (7 p.m., Bally Sports Detroit). The team recalled forwards Kyle Criscuolo and Taro Hirose from the Grand Rapids Griffins.

That game is still on even though six Hurricanes were placed in COVID protocol the past two days – including stars Sebastien Aho and Andrei Svechnikov – and the team’s game at Minnesota Tuesday was postponed.

The Red Wings experienced a rash of COVID cases early last season after playing consecutive games against the Hurricanes. Blashill admitted there is some concern about playing the game.

“Part of the problem when you’re sitting in my seat right now is I don’t have all the information,” Blashill said. “I don’t know exactly when everybody in Carolina got the virus. I know a number of guys tested negative today. I guess I’m relying on medical experts to say that it’s safe. I certainly believe that their best intentions are that if they thought they were putting us at risk to spread it that we wouldn’t play the game.

“I have trepidation. I certainly don’t want to see my team exposed to any more cases than we have to. It’s kind of like the balance we’ve all faced. You can shut down and not do anything and not spread it, or you can try to work within the parameters. I think that’s what we’re trying to do in trying to get the games in. Certainly, I want to coach, and the players want to play.”

Larkin was blunt about playing a sport where the players breathe heavily as they exert themselves and they sweat, spit, bleed and, again, engage in extreme physical exertion in close proximity:

“We have a sport where we’re sitting on the bench next to each other,” Larkin said. “We can’t put masks on and take them off before we go out (on the ice), things happen too fast. It’s tough in our sport to stop the spread but we try to do our best in the locker room. We’re lucky we have a big space at LCA. We can really spread out during meetings and when we’re eating, so you just got to be really smart and try to stay as safe as possible.”


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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.