Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock hasn’t offered a timetable for goaltender Jimmy Howard’s return from his groin injury other than to list him as week-to-week, according to the Associated Press. However, Babcock was comfortable saying this much: The 30-year-old netminder won’t play in the All-Star Game.
Howard was picked as Detroit’s only representative for the contest. The Red Wings holds the third seed in the Atlantic Division with a 22-11-9 record and that’s largely thanks to his efforts. After a shaky 2013-14 campaign, Howard has bounced back with a 2.11 GAA and .920 save percentage in 32 contests.
Further complicating matters for the Red Wings is the absence of backup Jonas Gustavsson, who is still recovering from a shoulder injury. Until one of their veteran goaltenders are available, the Red Wings are expected to put their trust in Petr Mrazek. The 22-year-old goalie has a career 2.03 GAA and .921 save percentage, but he’s only participated in 20 contests.
He’ll likely start against Buffalo on Tuesday and St. Louis Thursday night as the Red Wings finish their six-game road trip.
Red Wings place Howard on IR, recall McCollum
It was a scary scene for the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday, as Jimmy Howard needed help off the ice on a stretcher during tonight’s game against the Washington Capitals.
Here’s video of the injury:
In the meantime, here’s a useful description of what happened:
Update: When you see the word “stretcher,” you imagine the worst, but it looks like a groin injury so far. That doesn’t mean that Howard will avoid missing a big chunk of games, however. He won’t return to Saturday’s contest.
If he’s out for a while, Detroit’s goaltending group is seriously depleted. Petr Mrazek may have to shoulder quite the burden with Jonas Gustavsson also on the mend.
Turns out Jonas Gustavsson will miss more than “a few weeks” with a separated shoulder. According to Red Wings GM Ken Holland, the backup goalie will actually miss two months.
No surgery is planned at this time. The club has called up Petr Mrazek, 22, from the AHL.
The good news for the Wings? Assuming Jimmy Howard can stay healthy, he should be able to start plenty. Detroit doesn’t play back-to-back until Dec. 6 (vs. Rangers) and Dec. 7 (at Carolina).
At any rate, coach Mike Babcock has faith in young Mrazek.
“I think he’s a real good goalie,” Babcock said, per the Detroit Free Press. “He’s really good with the puck. He hasn’t had the kind of start he wanted in the American Hockey League, but he’s going to get an opportunity to play in a game that Gus would play, and you’ve got to show you can win in this league.”
Howard will start tonight versus New Jersey.
The Detroit Red Wings suffered a 4-3 overtime loss to the New York Rangers tonight, but that’s not the worst of it for them. Head coach Mike Babcock revealed after the game that Jonas Gustavsson has sustained a shoulder injury and will be on the sidelines for a while, per NHL.com’s Dan Rosen.
Updated: Gustavsson will miss “a few weeks” due to a dislocated shoulder, according to the Detroit Free Press’ Helene St. James.
Gustavsson was hurt while trying to stop Derick Brassard’s game-winning goal. You can see that and Gustavsson’s initial reaction below:
Petr Mrazek will be summoned to help fill the void. Mrazek has some NHL experience, but Gustavsson’s injury will add to the Red Wings’ dependence on starting goaltender Jimmy Howard. Fortunately for them, Howard is off to a strong start with a 1.96 GAA and .928 save percentage in 10 games.
The Detroit Red Wings overcame two New York Rangers leads, but in the end the Rangers still earned a 4-3 victory in overtime.
Detroit will at least walk away with one point though thanks to a Tomas Tatar’s goal with just 7.7 seconds left in regulation time.
Derick Brassard spoiled the Red Wings comeback though with a power-play overtime marker. With that, the Red Wings have now lost three straight games, although they managed to pick up a point in two of those contests. The Rangers have needed more than 60 minutes to settle their last three games, but this is their first win over that stretch.
It initially looked like this game might be more one-sided as a shot from Brassard bounced off what appeared to be Rick Nash’s gluteus maximus to gave the Rangers an early lead. Although that marker was a case of Nash parking himself in the right place at the right time, he has been on fire this season with 10 goals in just 12 games. Martin St. Louis padded the Rangers’ lead in the second frame.
Nash nearly got his second goal of the night towards the end of the second period, but Jonas Gustavsson made a huge save that kept the Red Wings’ in the contest.
Perhaps more troubling than the loss itself is the fact that Gustavsson might have been hurt himself on the final play of the game. A trainer attended to him after the deciding goal and he appeared to be in pain as he skated off the ice, per MLive’s Ansar Khan.
Jakub Kindl and Daniel Cleary, who was making his season debut, each chipped in his first goal of the season.