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Notes: Gagner to miss Thursday's game against Capitals

Zadina won't make trip; Team monitoring coronavirus as it heads on the road

by Dana Wakiji @Dwakiji /

DETROIT -- After a physical game Tuesday night, the Red Wings were a little worse for the wear.

Forward Sam Gagner did not practice with the team Wednesday at the BELFOR Training Center.

"Gagner's out for tomorrow night," Wings coach Jeff Blashill told reporters at Little Caesars Arena Wednesday. "He's out for tomorrow night, being evaluated further today. I don't know the answer for Saturday yet but he's definitely out for tomorrow night."

Gagner was hit several times Tuesday night, most notably when Carolina Hurricanes forward Martin Necas sent Gagner into the boards face-first at 3:38 of the third period.

Gagner was bloodied and received treatment on the bench during the ensuing power play as Necas was called for boarding.

Goaltender Jonathan Bernier and defenseman Trevor Daley also did not practice but Blashill said that was for maintenance reasons.

Defenseman Patrik Nemeth, who did not play Tuesday, also did not practice Wednesday as his wife is due to give birth soon.

Blashill was not sure if Nemeth would make the trip or if the baby had arrived yet.

Filip Zadina, who skated with the team last Friday during the morning skate and Saturday during practice, was not in Tuesday's morning skate nor in Wednesday's practice.

"Zadina is out through the weekend. He will not travel," Blashill said. "He'll stay off the ice today and we'll see. He'll go through physical therapy. If he can go on the ice tomorrow, he'll go on the ice tomorrow and we'll go from there."

What Zadina is currently dealing with is a mid-body injury not related to his broken ankle.

In 28 games this season, Zadina has eight goals and seven assists. His seven power-play points remain sixth on the team behind Dylan Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi, each with 14; Filip Hronek's 10; and Anthony Mantha and Robby Fabbri's nine apiece.

"I think it was really unfortunate the timing of the injury because of the fact he was playing good hockey," Blashill said. "I think he was gaining confidence at the NHL level. I think he was learning the tricks that he's gonna need to learn to be successful. And then he got hurt. It looked like he was closer to coming back, and then he suffered a little bit of a different injury in a setback.

"I think everybody involved - him, our management team, our coaches - everybody wants to see him play as many games as possible before the end of the year. We're hoping he can get back sooner than later. Will it hurt him? It doesn't help him. How much it hurts him is probably up to him but it doesn't help him. But he's gotta make sure he comes back mentally tough and ready to play great hockey when he gets back."

COVID-19 PRECAUTIONS: The Wings are staying in the moment with regards to the spread of COVID-19 as different states and cities are issuing different regulations.

"It is surreal," Blashill said. "It's times that we probably haven't necessarily all lived through. It definitely shows you how interconnected we all are in the world today and how fast stuff like this can obviously spread. These are difficult decisions. You don't want to overplay it, you don't want to underplay it. I got done yesterday talking to you guys and I wondered to myself, should I worry more or less, I don't know. I really don't know. Are we going to look back in two weeks and say it was a lot for nothing or are we going to look back in two weeks and say, boy, we should have been more concerned. Honestly, nobody knows the answer to that.

"There's people that are paid lots of money to make these decisions. It's a decision beyond our control. To say we don't think about it would be false. But, with that said, we just gotta keep focusing on what we do control and see where that takes us."

While the games at Washington, D.C. against the Capitals Thursday and at Tampa against the Lightning Saturday are currently scheduled to go on as normal, that could change.

There is the possibility that the Wings could end up playing in front of no fans.

Tweet from @FenitN: BREAKING: D.C. Health officials are urging the cancellation of all non-essential mass gatherings through the end of the month because of coronavirus. That includes conferences, conventions and entertainment events drawing more than 1,000 people

"To be honest with you, that's not fun," Blashill said. "There's a reason that ice (Little Caesars Arena's main sheet) was open today. We didn't go practice there because when there's nobody in the building, there's zero atmosphere and practice is usually dull so we choose to practice on the practice rink because it's a tighter area and you feel like there's more action. I don't think anybody involved wants to play games not in front of fans. Nobody wants that. We don't want that, the fans don't want that, the owners don't want that, the league doesn't want that.

"But these are interesting times. Certainly, I understand safety concerns and again, I think it's one of those things, I'm not in the health industry, I haven't spoken to many people that are in that. But I think everybody's trying to balance making sure that we're taking the proper precautions without being overcautious. Nobody kind of probably really knows where that fine line is. So these are real hard times and hard decisions."

Tweet from @JoeSmithTB: As of now, #tblightning plans for business as usual in hosting their three-game homestand (Thurs, Sat-Sunday) with fans. Albeit with the health + cleanliness provisions they���ve had since #coronavirus. Scouts won���t be traveling to Europe or coming back to North America

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