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.