Red Wings prepare to host Capitals after 4-game postponement due to COVID
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings are set to host the Washington Capitals on New Years Eve at Little Caesars Arena after an extended hiatus due to the pandemic.
The Red Wings’ last four games on the schedule have been postponed due to a surge in COVID-19 cases in the team and in the NHL. Detroit last played Dec. 18 against the New Jersey Devils – a 5-2 win over Detroit.
The league had scheduled a vacation break between Dec. 23-26, but the Red Wings started that hiatus early with two games postponed – Dec. 20 against Colorado and Dec. 23 against Minnesota. Then their hiatus was extended when the league postponed two more games for Detroit – December 27 against the New York Rangers and December 29 against the New York Islanders.
Finally, the Red Wings seem ready for a real game against the Capitals on Friday night. A long list of Red Wings players and coaches were taken off the league’s COVID protocol roster during the break. Defenseman Nick Leddy was still following protocol on Friday morning.
Red Wings schedule:
Wednesday, December 29 – 7:30 p.m. @ Islanders – BSD Plus – POSTPONED
Friday, December 31 – 7:30 p.m. vs Capitals – BSD
Sunday, Jan. 2 – 1 p.m. vs Bruins – BSD
Tuesday January 4 – 7:30 p.m. vs Sharks – BSD
Check out the full Red Wings schedule with the results here.
The Red Wings plead for the playoffs
The Red Wings (15-13-3) are in 4th place in the Atlantic Division and currently sit in the second Wild Card place in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Captain Dylan Larkin leads Detroit with 29 points in 27 games. Rookie Lucas Raymond is right behind with 28 points in 31 games played, and rookie defenseman Moritz Seider is right behind him with 21 points in 31 games. The two first-round draft picks clearly made all the difference for Detroit.
Larkin crosses Raymond and Tyler Bertuzzi (21 points) on Detroit’s best forward line, which helped launch the rebuilding Red Wings into a fight for a playoff berth. The second half of the NHL season will be a real test for this club that was not supposed to be in the playoff conversation.
Goalie Alex Nedeljkovic, however, is arguing for the Red Wings to stay in the discussion. “Ned” is 9-7-1 with a .916 save percentage this season. Can he keep that level of play high and push his Red Wings towards the playoffs? This is what we are looking to find out in the first two months of 2022.
Detroit’s second-half schedule features several games against league leaders including the Tampa Bay Lighting, Toronto Maple Leafs, Florida Panthers and more.
This schedule will change dramatically as the league must set new dates and times for postponed games and adapt to changes in protocol in Canada.
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