Howard: Babcock ‘hasn’t talked to me at all’ about not starting

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Jimmy Howard spoke to the media today for the first time since Mike Babcock named Petr Mrazek Detroit’s starting playoff netminder, and it was a little awkward.

Why?

Because Babcock, apparently, hasn’t spoken to Howard about the decision.

From today’s scrum…

Q: Jimmy, did [Babcock] tell you after the Carolina game, or the next day or what?

Howard: He hasn’t talked to me at all.

Q: Your coach hasn’t talked to you?

Howard: No.

Q: So your learned it…

Howard: I was told by my goalie coach.

You can watch video of the interview here and, if you’re into reading body language, it’s fairly obvious Howard isn’t happy about what’s transpired. He did, however, downplay the significance of Babcock not speaking with him.

“I mean, it’s up to him. He’s probably got a lot on his plate right now,” Howard said. “For me, it’s just about focusing and just being ready if called upon.”

Howard — who’s in the second of a six-year, $31.8 million deal — was Detroit’s No. 1 for the majority of this season, starting 50 of 82 games, but struggled to play consistently and dealt with a groin injury. He finished 23-12-11 with a .910 save percentage and two shutouts.