With the recent increase in COVID cases around the league, the last few days have had plenty of news about players and staff members entering COVID protocol and it appears today will continue that trend. The Red Wings announced (Twitter link) that goalie Alex Nedeljkovic, winger Carter Rowney and Givani Smith, head coach Jeff Blashill, and assistant coach Alex Tanguay have all been placed in protocol and will be unavailable for tonight’s game against New Jersey.
Detroit has been hit relatively hard by COVID-related absences this season as Tyler Bertuzzi, Marc Staal, and Danny DeKeyser have all missed time recently while Robby Fabbri and Michael Rasmussen are currently in protocol as well. The Red Wings have recalled winger Riley Barber and goaltender Calvin Pickard from Grand Rapids of the AHL in corresponding moves to be able to dress a full lineup against the Devils.
As for their coaching situation, the team announced in a follow-up tweet that assistant coach Doug Houda will be joined by a pair of coaches from AHL Grand Rapids – head coach Ben Simon and assistant coach Todd Krygier. As is the case with all other COVID protocol placements, each individual will need to miss at least ten days if follow-up testing confirms that they have indeed tested positive.