Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

Jeff Blashill On When COVID Hit The Wings

02/04/2021 at 4:55pm EST

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said he is certain his players who contracted COVID got it in games against Carolina on Jan. 14 and 16. The Hurricanes had four games postponed shortly after due to a rash of positive tests.

“That’s just the reality of testing being delayed. … It’s really hard to avoid (contracting it),” Blashill said. “It didn’t spread with our team any more than that. We’ve enforced protocols that have been in place to make sure we mitigate any further spreading. I think out staff and players did a real good job of that.

“The problem with hockey is we played in a rink where the humidity is dry and the air is cool, and my understanding, with the research I’ve done, that potentially lets that virus sit right there in the air and it doesn’t dissipate, so one team has it and you play a game, it’s hard. You don’t get an instant (test) result that is reliable. The fact that games are getting postponed is unfortunate, but from our perspective we just got to keep trying do the best we can with the protocols.”

Blashill tempered expectations of Zadina in Friday’s game at Tampa Bay (7 p.m., Fox Sports Detroit), his first since Jan. 20. Zadina’s lone practice since then was on Thursday. Prior to that, he skated for a few days with teammates who had COVID, four of whom returned in Wednesday’s 5-1 loss to the Lightning, which extended the team’s winless streak to seven (0-5-2).

“As you saw (Wednesday), your first game back is not easy,” Blashill said. “It will take Filip some time to get going at a full speed. It’s just a situation we’re in where guys got to get back to full speed as fast as they can. He appears to be feeling good, so hopefully he can hit the ground running.”

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