A potentially huge development for the Red Wings and U.S. Olympic team tonight — goalie Jimmy Howard left midway through the Detroit-St. Louis game with a lower-body injury and, during the second intermission, was ruled out for the remainder of the night.
Howard was pulled in favor of Petr Mrazek around the 10 minute mark of the second frame after allowing three goals on 25 shots. MLive’s Ansar Khan noted that Howard might have tweaked a knee, which could be an issue as Howard missed eight games earlier this season with a MCL sprain (and another with a hip flexor problem).
Despite the injuries, Howard was one of the three goalies named to the U.S. Olympic team on Jan. 1.
With the Olympic break just a few weeks away and the tournament set to get underway on Feb. 12, it’ll be very interesting to see the severity of Howard’s injury, and if Team USA makes a call to Tampa Bay’s Ben Bishop. A report from earlier this month claimed Bishop has already been told he’s the No. 4 goalie on the American depth chart, and would be on the team should an injury eliminate one of Howard, Jonathan Quick or Ryan Miller.
Updated:Ansar Khan of MLive.com reported that Wings general manager Ken Holland said Howard’s injury is minor and he’s listed as day-to-day.
Holland also said Gustavsson is ready to play on Wednesday.
It wasn’t pretty – especially if you’re disgusted by that Roman Polak hit – but the Toronto Maple Leafs keep generating big wins as a playoff return looks increasingly likely.
Toronto managed a 5-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday, passing the Boston Bruins for third place in the Atlantic Division:
Maple Leafs: 83 points in 72 games
Bruins: 82 points in 73 games
This leaves the currently in-action New York Islanders four points behind the Bruins for the final wild card in the East.
The Maple Leafs aren’t just grabbing key points; they’re doing so against some strong opponents who’ve had plenty on the line, too. They beat a Metro contender in Columbus tonight, the Bruins on Monday, grabbed an OT point against Chicago on Saturday and handled the desperate Lightning last Thursday.
John Tortorella was left enraged after Roman Polak delivered a dangerous boarding hit on Oliver Bjorkstrand, and he probably wasn’t too pleased after the Columbus Blue Jackets failed to make Toronto pay for Polak’s misdeeds.
Polak received a game misconduct and boarding major for the hit, but the Blue Jackets failed to score on a lengthy power play. Tortorella played to script, as cameras caught him expressing his anger at the situation.
Honestly, after 10 games, the question shouldn’t be “can Josh Ho-Sang stick with the Islanders full-time?” Instead, the feeling is … what took so long for him to get this chance?
For all the grumbling about Ho-Sang sporting number 66, he’s provided serious bursts of brilliance and creativity for the Islanders, whether he’s been supporting or even setting upJohn Tavares.
The video above is some really good stuff, as it walks through his confident comments – and undeniable uncertainty – during the night he was drafted, all the way through him getting his chance with the Isles this season. Some of the best stuff comes from Doug Weight, who raves that Ho-Sang is a “five out of five” from an offensive standpoint.
Leafs’ Nylander puts on show with breakaway goal, assist on Matthews’ 33rd
This wouldn’t have been worth a chuckle if not for the correction. (Well, maybe a chuckle at Auston Matthews‘ expense.)
On the 33rd goal of his brilliant rookie season, Auston Matthews made it 2-0 for Toronto on the power play. Crusty “act like you’ve been there” types might grumble that he actually celebrated before a goal really happened, only to tap it in for real the second time around. The rest of us, again, get a mild chuckle.
William Nylander‘s pass was nothing to laugh at, however. That one just gets a big thumbs up.