Red Wings put Howard on IR, recall Mrazek

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The Detroit Red Wings hope to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs on back-to-back nights, but they’ll need to make such attempts with either Petr Mrazek or Jonas Gustavsson in net on Saturday. The team put Jimmy Howard (pictured) on 48-hour goalie IR because of a groin injury, according to MLive.com’s Ansar Khan.

Red Wings GM Ken Holland told Khan that Howard, 30, will be eligible to play against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday. That obviously doesn’t mean that Howard will be fully healed by then, but it at least gives the impression that his issues aren’t too severe.

Howard only played in 51 games last season as he dealt with an array of nagging issues, making him far from unique among a Red Wings team that was plagued by injuries. Detroit obviously has to hope that this early repeat in issues is just a hiccup and not a sign of things to come in 2014-15.

The odds seem in favor of Gustavsson starting over Mrazek, who was recalled from the AHL today. That said, many believe that Mrazek could very well push Howard for the starting job in the longer term future, so the Red Wings have a choice to make.