Mar 14, 2011, 11:46 AM EDT
The Red Wings are virtually back to full health now and the guy most excited about their latest development might be Jimmy Howard. Detroit activated goalie Chris Osgood from injured reserve after Osgood missed the last few weeks recovering from sports hernia surgery.
With Osgood back, Joey MacDonald heads back to the AHL but more importantly Osgood provides coach Mike Babcock with a more viable option to give Howard a rest heading into the playoffs. Ideally Osgood gives the Red Wings a better chance to win games than MacDonald did and before suffering from the hernia, Osgood had been playing reasonably well compared to last season. With a 2.77 goals against average and a .903 save percentage his numbers weren’t all that different from Howard’s.
Making sure that Howard is energized for the postseason could be a priority for the Wings.Detroit has an eight point lead on Chicago in the Central Division and trail Vancouver by nine points for the top spot in the Western Conference while staying ahead of San Jose for the two seed by four points. Provided they can keep the Blackhawks and Sharks far enough in their rear view mirror and not eke any closer to the Canucks, Detroit would essentially be staying warm for the playoffs at that point.
With Osgood back in the fold, expect to see him get his fair share of action in Detroit’s final 13 games. The Wings have two sets of back-to-back game days (March 16-17, April 2-3) so you’d think that Osgood at least has two guaranteed starts there in that mix.
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