Tag: Ty Conklin

Brian Boucher

Boucher out 4-6 months, ‘Canes to seek goaltending help?

1 Comment

There’s a new wrinkle in the free agent goalie market.

According to Carolina GM Jim Rutherford, ‘Canes backup Brian Boucher suffered a shoulder injury that will sideline him for 4-6 months, preventing him from being Cam Ward’s security blanket until at least October, possibly December.

That puts a spotlight on 25-year-old Justin Peters — he of the 28 career NHL appearances — who is an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Do the ‘Canes scramble to re-sign Peters, or acquire a more veteran presence?

“Obviously this thing with Brian’s injury gives Justin a better chance,” Rutherford explained. “But the fact that we’re this close to July 1, we’re probably going to wait a few days into [the free agency period] to make a decision.”

It’s hard to imagine who else the ‘Canes would land in free agency. They’re basically offering a temp position that will get crowded when Boucher comes back, so it’s shaping up to be a stopgap/filler signing — perhaps a guy that’s on the verge of not being in the league (read: Brent Johnson, Ty Conklin.)

Detroit’s MacDonald gunning for that No. 2 spot

Joey MacDonald

Joey MacDonald knows he wants to be in Detroit next season.

Last season, the Red Wings goalie didn’t spend as much time in the Motor City has he would’ve liked — most of his time was with AHL Grand Rapids — but injuries to Jimmy Howard and Ty Conklin in early February gave MacDonald a shot at starting, and he replied with an 8-5-1 record, 2.16 goals-against average and .912 save percentage.

That brief spell pushed MacDonald into setting a goal for 2012-13 — to be the full-time No. 2 behind Howard.

“My goal is to be the backup next season,” he told the Detroit Free Press. “I’ve got a contract for next year, and that’s my focus.”

MacDonald as the backup would make sense for Detroit, especially since he’s already on the books for $550,000 and played well in relief last season, far better than Conklin. That said, the Wings might make a move for Washington’s Tomas Vokoun, a guy they targeted last season but couldn’t match the Capitals offer for (namely, the shot at a starting gig.)

Vokoun is now 35 and seemingly more suited for a backup role, so the Wings could come calling again.

Tale of the Tape: Blackhawks vs. Red Wings

datsyuk hossa

On Saturday, the Detroit Red Wings will host the Chicago Blackhawks at Joe Louis Arena (1:00 pm ET, NBC) – here’s a look at recent history between the two clubs.

Detroit: 48-28-5, 3rd in Central Division
Leading scorer: Henrik Zetterberg (22G-46A-68PTS)

Chicago:44-26-11, 4th in Central Division
Leading scorer: Marian Hossa (29G-48A-77PTS)

The two teams have met five times this season — Chicago leads the series 3-0-2.

Dec. 30: Chicago 3, Detroit 2. Jonathan Toews scored on a penalty shot and Brent Seabrook scored the game-winner in what would be one of Chicago’s finest moments of the season. The win gave the ‘Hawks a league-high 52 points and the crowd of of 22,166 marked a season-high for the United Center.

Jan. 8: Detroit 3, Chicago 2 (OT). Dan Cleary tied the game with less than five minutes left in regulation, then Pavel Datsyuk won it in overtime on a bank shot off ‘Hawks defenseman Nick Leddy. The win was a rare one for Wings goalie Ty Conklin, who was making just his sixth start of the year (his previous win game on Oct. 8.)

Jan. 14: Detroit 3, Chicago 2 (OT). Noticing a theme yet? This was the third straight 3-2 game between the two clubs and the second one Detroit won in OT. This time it was Todd Bertuzzi playing the hero role — he scored the game-winner — but the real story was Chicago losing its stranglehold on the Central. The Blackhawks began the day atop the tightly contested Central Division, leading St. Louis by a point, Detroit by two points and Nashville by five (far cry from Dec. 30, when they led second-place Detroit by five.)

Feb. 21: Chicago 2, Detroit 1. A game marked by who wasn’t playing rather than who was — Toews was out for Chicago, Datsyuk out for Detroit. That set the stage for some unlikely heroes, especially on the Blackhawks side of things, as Jimmy Hayes scored the equalizer midway through the second before Marcus Kruger got the game-winner early in the third. Corey Crawford stopped 31 of 32 shots for the win.

Mar. 4: Chicago 2, Detroit 1. Yes, that’s right…every game between Detroit and Chicago has been decided by one goal, and the scores were either 3-2 or 2-1. Not much to choose between, huh? In this game, it was the Patricks (Kane and Sharp) erasing Nicklas Kronwall’s 14th goal of the season. Detroit limped through this game without the services of Datsyuk, Nicklas Lidstrom, Jonathan Ericsson and Jakub Kindl.

Howard back in goal for Detroit tonight

Jimmy Howard

Given he’s only played nine games in February and March combined, it’s easy to understand why Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard wants to look forward — not back — as he prepares to start against Nashville on Friday.

“I’m just going out there and forgetting about the past here, the last month and a half,” Howard told the Macomb Daily. “I think I’m prepared, I’ve been working hard to get back there, I’ve been working hard on the ice. I’m just going to go out there and play.”

Detroit’s had a rotating door in goal throughout March. It started with Howard recording a 6-0 shutout win over Minnesota, before a reoccurring groin injury put him out of the lineup. That opened the door for Joey MacDonald, the goalie of record in five of the next six games until Howard returned to play in losses to San Jose (on Mar. 17) and Washington (Mar. 19)…before hurting his groin again.

Just one problem — MacDonald had injured his back. That forced Detroit to call up Ty Conklin from Grand Rapids and start him in each of the last four games, because the Wings wanted to make sure they didn’t rush Howard back into action.

Conklin responded well, going 2-1-1, but it’s now Howard’s time to reclaim the net.

“The second time around we took a different approach, more strengthening it, it feels a lot stronger out there,” he said of his groin injury. “I know what I’m capable of doing out there. It’s just going out there and doing it again.

“Everybody wants to feel great going into the playoffs. What’s going to be key for me over the next four games is getting back to where I was before the injuries.

“Today was the date from the start we were targeting. Four to five games left, chance to get back out there and get into game shape.”

Jimmy Howard’s return is going to have to wait, out tonight and Friday

Jimmy Howard
1 Comment

If you were hoping to see Jimmy Howard in goal for the Red Wings either tonight against Columbus or Friday against Nashville, you’re going to be sorely disappointed.

Ansar Khan of Mlive.com reports from coach Mike Babcock that Howard will not be playing in either of the next two games for the Red Wings. Howard’s groin has been troubling him in the latter part of the year leaving veteran Ty Conklin to pick up the slack for him while both he and Joey MacDonald (back) are sidelined with injuries.

The next possible game for Howard to get the call would be Sunday afternoon against Florida. Failing that, the Red Wings’ final three games come against St. Louis, New Jersey, and Chicago meaning Howard will get a taste of the playoffs before they start no matter what.