The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan filed a practice notebook article discussing the Red Wings’ postponed games as the Wings face the challenge of trying to stay sharp after not having played for 11 days now:
[Detroit] scheduled a mid-afternoon practice Tuesday in anticipation of getting further COVID testing results and possibly getting a few more players cleared. They had a scheduled 5 p.m. flight to New York in hopes of getting to the hotel, then playing Wednesday.
But the Islanders had more positive COVID tests Tuesday, on top of five players Monday. Now the Wings have four games to make up this season — a home game against Colorado, and road games against the Islanders, New York Rangers and Minnesota Wild.
“I was disappointed,” Blashill said of the postponement. “I’m happy for the guys who would have missed the game so they now don’t have to miss the game, but I want to play and get going. We’re all anxious to play again. (But) we all understand these are tough times and we just have to work through them.”
By Friday, the Wings could have most of their roster cleared to play — except for forward Lucas Raymond and defenseman Nick Leddy. Both will be near the end of their time on the protocol list. Nedeljkovic and forward FIlip Zadina rejoined the Wings on Tuesday. Defenseman Jordan Oesterle and forwards Adam Erne, Sam Gagner and Joe Veleno will be eligible to practice in the next two days.
Blashill said Tuesday’s practice was a step ahead of Monday’s session, with more bodies able to skate and the fact players are regaining their timing. Nedeljkovic believes teammates are simply want to return to game action.
“It felt good on the ice,” Nedeljkovic said. “The pace was pretty good for being a little bit short staffed. Everybody is itching to kind of get into a rhythm and play games.”