After sweating things out for the past 24 hours, Detroit has a starting goalie for tonight’s battle with the New York Rangers.
Veteran backup Ty Conklin cleared re-entry waivers and according to Helene St. James of the Free Press, will get the start on Broadway this evening. With Jimmy Howard again bothered by groin issues and Joey MacDonald out with back problems, the Wings had put the call out to bring back Conklin.
Had Conklin not cleared, rookie Jordan Pearce would’ve gotten the call tonight to make his first career NHL start. Instead, Conklin will make his first appearance with the Wings since February 4 when he gave up three goals in 20 minutes to the Edmonton Oilers. On the upside for the Wings, Howard tells St. James that he’s hopeful to start Saturday’s game against Carolina.
The Red Wings have had enough problems of late over the last month but after Jimmy Howard returned from his groin injury a couple weeks ago, they felt they could at least relax about matters in goal.
That is until today when Ansar Khan of Mlive.com reported that Howard’s groin is acting up again and that the team has put Ty Conklin on re-entry waivers. Khan reports from Wings GM Ken Holland that Howard’s injury is day-to-day and that it isn’t serious. If Conklin clears waivers, he will join the team in New York where they’ll take on the Rangers tomorrow night (7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN).
The Wings were already dealing with Joey MacDonald being bothered by a bad back and have Jordan Pearce up in place of him already. With Conklin on the way back to the team and Howard out for any amount of time, it’s up to Conklin to try and keep the Red Wings in fourth place in the Western Conference. That’s an unenviable task for anyone.
Without Jimmy Howard in goal, the stress of trying to win the Central Division and finish at or near the top of the Western Conference has fallen on Joey MacDonald’s shoulders. While MacDonald has done well filling in for Jimmy Howard, it’s time for the starter to take over again.
Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press hears it from Wings GM Ken Holland that Howard will rejoin the team for their California road trip and is over a groin injury that put him on the shelf for the last three games. With Howard being back and ready to play, Jordan Pearce was sent back to the AHL.
With the season down to the wire now, it’ll be up to Howard to help the Red Wings stay in the hunt with St. Louis. His job is made a bit harder with both Nicklas Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk both still out with their separate ailments. Detroit could use a pick-me-up though as they’ve lost six of their last nine games.
The Detroit Red Wings are feeling the bite of the injury bug at a most inopportune time. The Wings are in the hunt for the Central Division title and a shot at the top seed in the West, but with Todd Bertuzzi dealing with a nagging groin injury and seeing both Jakub Kindl and Jimmy Howard knocked out of yesterday’s game against Chicago, it’s time to call up the reserves.
Bill Roose of the Red Wings’ website reports that Detroit has recalled forward Chris Conner, defenseman Doug Janik, and goalie Jordan Pearce from the AHL to help fill the skates of those three starters. Conner and Janik have had a taste of action this season for Detroit already while Pearce will ride the pine behind Joey MacDonald.
While none of the injuries to the three starters are believed to be long-term, losing guys in a tight playoff race hurts. With Detroit already dealing with Nicklas Lidstrom and Jonathan Ericsson injuries, losing Kindl is especially difficult. We’ve seen Detroit withstand issues all season but even this spate of injuries is asking a lot of them.
With the Red Wings taking on the Blackhawks this afternoon in Detroit, that means extra pressure to win. For the Red Wings, that got a lot tougher when Jimmy Howard came out of the game after the first period.
According to Red Wings GM Ken Holland, Howard left the game with what they’re calling a lower-body injury and is listed as day-to-day. That initial diagnosis from the Wings is a bit more worrisome as it’s not related to the broken finger Howard had that kept him out of action for a few weeks.
Joey MacDonald took over for Howard at the start of the second and should he miss any extended time, he’ll be the guy that leads them in goal. If Howard is out for an extended time, Ty Conklin could get called back up from the AHL but would have to clear waivers to do it. Goalies Jordan Pearce or Thomas McCollum would not have to clear waivers and could be other options for Detroit.
Adding to the pain, defenseman Jakub Kindl also left the game with an upper-body injury.