The Detroit Red Wings are in must-win mode if they want to make the playoffs and it seems as though they’ve decided that Jimmy Howard gives them the best chance to get there.
For the second time in two nights, the Wings will have Howard between the pipes, not Petr Mrazek.
“I’ve got lots of belief in his character,” coach Jeff Blashill said of Howard, per MLive.com. “I’ve got lots of belief in the work that he put in. When they went through it where he was struggling, or the team was struggling in front of him, he went to work and made sure that he earned confidence by putting the work in.
“I think earned confidence comes from knowing you’ve done the work to succeed and knowing you have the skill set to succeed and nobody’s ever wavered on the skill set side, and he put the work in to make sure he was ready when he got opportunities.”
Blashill might believe in Howard’s ability, but Mrazek’s given him no choice. The 24-year-old has fallen apart down the stretch. He has just one win in his last six appearances. He was rocked for four goals on 27 shots in his last start against Pittsburgh last Saturday.
Detroit’s opponent, the Toronto Maple Leafs, will turn to Garret Sparks.