The Red Wings have been struggling of late with injuries and now backup goalie Chris Osgood is about to join Brad Stuart, Mike Modano, and Dan Cleary on the shelf. Osgood was supposed to start tonight’s game against Vancouver but was replaced before the game by Jimmy Howard thanks to a groin injury. Osgood will now be headed to a specialist to check out his ailment to verify the seriousness of his injury, a bad sign if there ever was one.
The 38 year-old goaltender has rebounded a bit this season after a rough campaign last season and having him go down to injury is more of a blow to the collective psyche of the Wings than anything else. Jimmy Howard is without a doubt the team’s starting goalie, but Osgood’s improved play this year allowed coach Mike Babcock to rely more on Osgood to give Howard a break.
If Osgood’s injury is serious, the team could call upon either youngster Thomas McCollum or journeyman Joey McDonald to back up Howard. If the injury puts Osgood on the shelf for an extended period of time, McCollum could get the call to give him a taste of life in the NHL and an opportunity to show why the Wings took him in the first round in 2008.
If Osgood is out for a short time, McDonald would be seemingly likely get the call up because he’s got a history in the NHL with the Wings, Leafs, and Islanders. Either way, the Wings’ ability to give Howard a break when needed seriously hampers their ability to trot out a guy that can win games for them.