The Blue Jackets returned to practice today but four players -- all forwards -- were missing.

First the good news. Left wing Nick Foligno was right where he needed to be with wife Jannelle for the birth of their first child. Malina Maria Foligno - all 7 pounds 0 ounces -- was born on Sunday.

Now the not-so-good.

Right wing Marian Gaborik the Blue Jackets' leading scorer was absent from practice with the flu and did not travel with the club this afternoon to Detroit.

The plan as of this morning was for Gaborik (if he's feeling better) and Foligno to fly to Detroit on Tuesday morning. The Blue Jackets play the Red Wings in Joe Louis Arena at 8 p.m. on Tuesday.

"We wanted (Gaborik) to get as much time by himself as possible" Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said. "We'll see where he's at in the morning."

Two other absences: left wings Matt Calvert (groin) and Blake Comeau (leg laceration).

Calvert has been dogged by this groin / lower abdominal problem since early in training camp. He visited a specialist today to get to the bottom of the issue and there's a good chance he'll miss more than just a game. He did not travel with the club.

"We don't know the extent of his injury" Richards said.

Comeau who was cut along the side of his ankle during Saturday's 3-1 loss to Boston skated on his own in the morning and traveled with the club yesterday. He's questionable for Tuesday's game.

"Patch it up make sure it's covered" Richards said. "It's just making sure the cut doesn't open back up."

Side dishes:

-- The Blue Jackets are healthy on defense but that creates its own type of problem. Who sits? Richards said Nikita Nikitin would play Tuesday after being the healthy scratch vs. Boston on Saturday. So who's coming out? "

-- The Jackets were 4-0-1 against the Red Wings last season. No really. Columbus earned nine of a possible 10 points against the Wings. Bobrovsky had a .944 save percentage in four starts (3-0-1). "Detroit is Detroit especially in their building" Richards said. "They've obviously added (Daniel) Alfredsson and (Stephen) Weiss and those guys are two pretty good players. Plus they still have two of the best up front with (Henrik) Zetterberg and (Pavel) Datsyuk. Our guys have a little bit of confidence playing against them. But it’s not easy to play in their building. They test you in a lot of different ways."