The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan filed a notebook article in which he discusses the Red Wings’ desire to get back to work after their long NHL-imposed pause due to COVID issues:
“Eager to get back in a game,” Blashill said. “It was good to watch (Wednesday’s games) and you could see there was a lot of emotion getting back at it. This is what we do and to a large degree, what we live for. It’s good to get going.”
Forwards Lucas Raymond and Adam Erne, and defenseman Jordan Oesterle, were removed from the protocol list Thursday, leaving defenseman Nick Leddy as the lone Wings’ player on the list. Leddy will not play Friday. Many of the Wings who’ve been on the list recently have only missed one game, at most, before the NHL shut things down. From that perspective, the Wings feel fortunate.
“We’re real lucky,” Seider said. “The guys didn’t have to sit out, and we had a real good practice (Thursday) and we can build on that and go from there.”
The Wings are also able to return to game action at Little Caesars Arena, which has been a decided home-ice advantage. The Wings are 11-3-2 at LCA — one of those losses, to Washington — while only 4-10-1 on the road.
There’s also the knowledge the New Year’s Eve crowd is usually one of the more festive and loud gatherings of the season.
“The crowd has been awesome, and I’m certain (Friday’s) crowd will be awesome,” Blashill said. “New Year’s Eve is always a great crowd. I’ve got a large contingent of the family coming down to be here. These types of nights just increases it (the emotion).”