Wounded Wing: Howard (MCL sprain) out 2-4 weeks


Jimmy Howard’s knee injury is a Grade 1 MCL sprain, according to Detroit GM Ken Holland, meaning the Red Wings goalie will miss the next 2-4 weeks of action.

News of the diagnosis comes just one day after Horward said he wasn’t “that concerned about” the injury, telling reporters he didn’t expect to be out of the lineup for very long.

But that was before the MRI.

Howard, who has struggled this season with a 6-8-7 record and .910 save percentage, could miss as many as 12 games should he sit out the full four weeks.

This will also likely jeopardize his chances of suiting up for the 2014 Winter Classic, when the Red Wings take on the Maple Leafs at the Big House and the University of Michigan.

With Howard out, the Wings will turn to Jonas Gustavsson as their No. 1 netminder and recently-recalled Petr Mrazek as their No. 2. Gustavsson has been solid this season, posting an 8-1-2 record with a 1.92 GAA and .933 save percentage, emerging as one of the best backup goalies in the NHL.

In Jets return, Burmistrov delivers headshot to Bergeron (Updated)

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Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.

Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:

Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).

The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.

Update: Bergeron stayed in the game, but B’s head coach Claude Julien was none too pleased with the hit. Following the game, he called for the NHL’s Department of Player Safety to look at it…

Two-for-two: Another successful coach’s challenge as Sens reverse Kane’s goal

Dave Cameron
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Coaches are quickly getting the hang of this challenge thing.

Following Mike Babcock’s successful challenge in Toronto’s opening-night loss to Montreal on Wednesday, Babcock’s provincial rival — Sens head coach Dave Cameron — got it right as well, successfully reversing Evander Kane‘s would-be equalizer in the third period.

From the league:

At 10:34 of the third period in the Senators/Sabres game, Ottawa requested a Coach’s Challenge to review whether Buffalo was off-side prior to Evander Kane’s goal.

After reviewing all available replays and consulting with NHL Hockey Operations staff, the Linesman determined that Buffalo’s Zemgus Girgensons was off-side prior to the goal. According to Rule 78.7, “The standard for overturning the call in the event of a ‘GOAL’ call on the ice is that the Linesman, after reviewing any and all available replays and consulting with the Toronto Video Room, determines that one or more Players on the attacking team preceded the puck into the attacking zone prior to the goal being scored and that, as a result, the play should have been stopped for an “Off-side” infraction; where this standard is met, the goal will be disallowed.”

Therefore the original call is overturned – no goal Buffalo Sabres.

The clock is re-set to show 9:32 (10:28 elapsed time), when the off-side infraction occurred.

As the league later noted, this was the first coach’s challenge under the offside scenario.