The Detroit Red Wings had hoped to press the reset button on their season during Sunday’s practice, but the number of players in COVID protocols prevented that from taking place, as the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan found in his Sunday notebook article:
With so much time off, it would be ideal to have a training camp feel to these practices. But the depleted roster makes that impossible.
“I’d love to, but the problem is you can’t do it to the degree you’d like because the numbers you have available,” ‘Red Wings coach Jeff] Blashill said. “If we had a full team today, the practice would have looked a lot different, or (Monday) the practice would look different. But you are restricted by what you can do.”
Blashill had no information on whether the game against the Islanders — who put five player on the protocol list Sunday — was going to take place.
The Wings, and the rest of the NHL went into a pause last Wednesday in hopes of stemming the rapid rise of COVID cases. The Wings have had three games postponed and have two games scheduled for this week (Wednesday at New York Islanders, Friday at home against Washington).
“Certainly there will be challenges, but I know the Islanders won’t care and they may still have their own challenges,” Blashill said. “It was probably the right move given where everyone was at across the league (to pause the season). We were going to have a hard time fielding a roster at that point. It’s not about competitive equity as much as just filling a roster. We had a number of guys in the protocol and a number of guys continue to move into protocol over the next couple of days.”