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Duffer’s Dabbles: COVID Taking Control of Red Wings, NHL



Alex Nedeljkovic, Detroit Red Wings
The Detroit Red Wings are awaiting word from the NHL as to whether Thursday's game in Carolina against the Hurricanes will be called off.

The Detroit Red Wings readily admit that they exist inside a bubble. Their entire focus is about winning hockey games. Outside influences are relatively irrelevant until they make a direct impact on the world in which they live.

“I think we live in a little bit of a tunnel,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill admits. “I think it’s a distraction and a stresser when it hits you more than anything else.”

Red Wings Awaiting Word

COVID-19 is hitting them, and the NHL as a whole, with a vengeance. Nearly three dozen NHLers have entered COVID-19 in the past 48 hours. This is causing the postponement of games, nine so far. The Red Wings are awaiting word from the league as to whether their game Thursday at Carolina against the Hurricanes will be postponed. Six Hurricanes players are in COVID-19 protocol. Their game Tuesday against the Minnesota Wild was called off.

Oddly, as COVID-19 sweeps through the league, the last Red Wings player afflicted, defenseman Marc Staal, cleared COVID-19 protocol earlier this week. That doesn’t mean the Wings still aren’t being careful.

“I think everybody’s got a little heightened awareness of it,” Blashill said. “Certainly from the beginning of the year when you kind of felt like you can do anything, and now we gotta be more careful.

“Outside of that, it’s how does it affect us from winning and losing? How does it affect us with our personal health? That’s probably the biggest thing.”

Around The League

World Juniors: Red Wings prospects Sebastian Cossa and Donovan Sebrango (Canada) and Carter Mazur and Red Savage (USA) survived their country’s final cuts and will be playing in the upcomng World Junior Championship.

Detroit: Tightening up their defensive game, the Red Wings wound up edging the New York Islanders 2-1 on Tuesday.

Pittsburgh: Forward Evan Rodrigues is making the most of his opportunity with the Penguins.

Boston: Former Bruins forward David Backes discusses the differences of opinion he had with Boston coach Bruce Cassidy.

Washington: Forward Aliaksei Protas is proving to be a pleasant surprise for the Washington Capitals.

Vancouver: If the NHL does goes to the Beijing Winter Olympics, could Canucks netminder Thatcher Demko be the go-to goalie for USA Hockey?