Red Wings-Devils morning skate Tweets: COVID hits Wings’ coaching staff, Ned, Smith, Rowney

The Detroit Red Wings host the winless-in-four New Jersey Devils tonight at Little Caesars Arena (8 PM EST start on Bally Sports Detroit/MSG+/97.1 FM).

Tonight’s back half of the first basketball-and-hockey doubleheader at LCA will most likely involve unpredictable ice conditions and a tricky opponent as the 10-13-and-5 Devils look to gain traction at the expense of the 14-13-and-3 Red Wings.

Today, approximately 70 people will help turn @LCArena_Detroit from a basketball court into a hockey rink.

Learn more about the process and how long they’ve been planning for this special day.#Pistons | #LGRW— Bally Sports Detroit (@BallySportsDET) December 18, 2021

If you’re looking for reading material,’s Catherine Bogart and Sam Kasan posted a superb game preview which includes’s 45 pages’ worth of game notes.

Here’s an FYI if you brave the intermittent snow showers to head down to the rink:

We’ve got a busy day at @LCArena_Detroit!

With the @DetroitPistons playing at 12PM, and the @DetroitRedWings playing at 8PM, we *strongly* encourage fans to pre-purchase parking and arrive early, as high traffic volumes are expected. Reserve a spot now:— Little Caesars Arena (@LCArena_Detroit) December 18, 2021

Right before the morning skate, well, things got ludicrous:

UPDATE: The #RedWings have placed Givani Smith, Carter Rowney, Alex Nedeljkovic, head coach Jeff Blashill and assistant coach Alex Tanguay in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol.— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) December 18, 2021

#RedWings assistant coach Doug Houda will be joined behind the bench tonight by Griffins head coach Ben Simon and assistant coach Todd Krygier.— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) December 18, 2021

So, with the head coach and assistant coach in COVID protocol, the starting goaltender and two of the fourth line’s key players in COVID protocol, the NHL decided that we’d keep on keepin’ on.

Red Wings are on the ice for their morning skate. Only goaltender for them is Tomas Greiss.

Shooter Tutor at the other end.— Amanda Stein (@amandacstein) December 18, 2021

It’s safe to assume that Calvin Pickard will be recalled as the Griffins aren’t playing this weekend due to the Toronto Marlies being in COVID protocols themselves.

What happens when one of your two goalies goes into protocol? Shooter tutor at morning skate. (Greiss at the other end)— Max Bultman (@m_bultman) December 18, 2021

Expect more NHL postponements to be announced today. A league-wide pause feels inevitable but for now sense is the NHL/NHLPA will try to power through next few days if possible with case by case approach still…— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) December 18, 2021

Teams officially notified of enhanced protocols through Jan. 7 — “consistent” with last year’s stricter rules.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) December 18, 2021

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

UPDATE: The #RedWings have recalled goaltender Calvin Pickard and forward Riley Barber from the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins.— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) December 18, 2021

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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.