Filip Zadina to return for Red Wings, who were winless without him

The Detroit Red Wings are mired in yet another frustrating losing streak, having gone winless in their past seven games (0-5-2). The most recent setback was Wednesday night’s 5-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, in which the host Lightning struck three times in the first five minutes of the contest, chasing goaltender Thomas Greiss.

They’ll be getting a key piece of their lineup back for tomorrow night’s rematch in the form of forward Filip Zadina, with whom the team had gone winless without. Zadina was one of several players on Detroit’s COVID-19 protocol list.

“I felt good,” Zadina said after today’s practice. “I was sick for two, three days and I didn’t feel OK, but right now I am feeling really good and excited to be playing again. I’m so happy.”

Zadina’s return will help offset some of the loss of leading scorer Tyler Bertuzzi, who is sidelined through at least February 9 with an upper body injury.

In the four games he’s played this season, Zadina has tallied two assists and a +1 plus/minus rating.

“It’s a cautious boost,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “I think the boost will come in time, for sure, but as you saw, your first game back is not easy. It’s hard enough when you’re coming out of training camp and you’ve been going, and then to take a pause, it will take Filip some time to get going at full speed. But it’s just the situation we’re in, where guys have to get back to full speed as fast as they can.”

Blashill also touched on where he believes Detroit’s COVID-19 issues came from – it wasn’t long after the team’s opening season series against the Carolina Hurricanes, who had their own issues with the illness.

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“Carolina had guys that ultimately played with COVID,” Blashill said. “That’s just the reality of the testing being delayed. I’m quite certain that’s where our guys got it. It’s really hard to avoid that. But our guys got it and then it didn’t spread within our team any more than that. So I think our medical staff did an excellent job. We’ve enforced the protocol that’s been in place to make sure we mitigate any further spreading. Our staff and our players did a really good job of that. You have to do it the best you can.”

– – Quotes via Helene St. James of The Detroit Free Press Link – –

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