Author: James O'Brien

Jimmy Howard

Red Wings pull Howard after one period


Hey, remember how people were wondering if Jimmy Howard was losing control of the Detroit Red Wings’ starting job? Yeah, Thursday’s game won’t do much to silence such doubts.

Howard did indeed begin tonight’s contest against the San Jose Sharks, but it doesn’t look like* he’ll finish it. Howard was pulled in favor of Petr Mrazek heading into the second period after allowing three Sharks goals on 10 shots in the opening frame.

Again, it was just earlier today that Mike Babcock did a rather unconvincing job of kinda saying that Howard is still the No. 1 guy.

Howard, 30, came into this game with a 1-3-1 record in his past five games and could very well see another loss in that mix. Not ideal work with the playoffs about two weeks away.

* – We’ve seen instances in which both of a team’s goalies play so poorly that the starter finds himself back in the crease, so you never know …

Martin St. Louis resumed skating on Thursday

New York Rangers v New York Islanders

As the playoffs rapidly approach, the New York Rangers seem like they’re getting closer to full-strength.

While Henrik Lundqvist’s return to health may actually be a little complicated, integrating Martin St. Louis back into the lineup would likely be a lot more straightforward. He took a big step in that regard on Thursday, as he skated for the first time since suffering a sprained MCL on March 15.

The veteran winger seemed positive about that spin on the ice, which he discussed with the Bergen Record.

“I’m going to see how I feel today and take it a day at a time right now, the rest of the day, and assess how this will feel,” St. Louis said. “I’ve been on the ice probably an hour, not pushing it extra hard but just being in gear again for that hour, we’ll see how I respond. I’m encouraged how I felt out there. I never had an injury like that before. What I feel is new to me so I have to react accordingly and take the next step accordingly. Today was a good step.”

The Rangers’ regular season ends with a road game against the Washington Capitals on April 11. It’s remarkable to already consider when St. Louis may play again. Perhaps he’ll even shake off all the rust and get his knee close to full strength by playoff time?

Yes, Krejci is back (and at RW)


Yes, it looks like David Krejci is back when the Boston Bruins need him the most … only in an unfamiliar spot.

(No, that isn’t meant to be a reference to Boston beginning Thursday night outside of the East’s playoff picture.)

Early on, it looks like the Czech-born center will play at right wing. One would assume that some of that discomfort is ameliorated by the fact that his linemates are Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, though.

Krejci, 28, won’t see a lot of margin of error as he jumps back into action for the first time since getting hurt his knee on Feb. 20. The Bruins need every bit of help they can get in chasing the red-hot Ottawa Senators and face a tough opponent in the Anaheim Ducks tonight.

At least it appears that they have (almost) all hands on deck, though.