Duff’s notebook: and the band plays on

The Detroit Red Wings are still going to play the New Jersey Devils tonight (8 PM EST start on Bally Sports Detroit/MSG+/97.1 FM) despite the Wings adding coach Jeff Blashill, assistant coach Alex Tanguay, goalie Alex Nedeljkovic and forwards Givani Smith and Carter Rowney to a COVID protocol list that already includes Robby Fabbri and Michael Rasmussen.

Detroit Hockey Now’s Bob Duff spoke with Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman regarding the Wings’ situation, which includes calling up Grand Rapids Griffins coach Ben Simon, assistant coach Todd Krygier, goaltender Calvin Pickard and forward Riley Barber, to join Kyle Criscuolo and Taro Hirose:

Despite the absence of five players and two of the club’s three bench coaches, Saturday’s game against the New Jersey Devils at Little Caesars Arena is going ahead as planned.

“Other teams have gone through this earlier than us the last 2-3 weeks,” Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman said of his team playing a game minus five players and their head coach. “We just keep adding players. As long as we have bodies, players that we can recall, we’ll ice the best team we can and go from there.”

Grand Rapids head coach Ben Simon and assistant coach Todd Krygier are coming up to work the bench along with Red Wings assistant coach Doug Houda.

According to Yzerman, Simon will be running the bench for tonight’s game.

“It’s my understanding that Ben was going to be the acting head coach and Doug would remain in his role running the D,” Yzerman said. “It is a fluid situation, so that may have changed from my last conversation with Jeff Blashill.”


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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.