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Detroit activates Howard, might start Tuesday

Jan 27, 2014, 8:35 PM EDT

jimmyhowardgetty Getty Images

The Red Wings conceded that forward Henrik Zetterberg won’t be available on Tuesday, but the news wasn’t all grim for Detroit today.

Goaltender Jimmy Howard has been activated off of the injured reserve list after missing three consecutive games with a knee injury, according to MLive.com. He was previously sidelined for eight contests in December because of a problem with the same knee.

Petr Mrazek has returned to the AHL, which means Howard is projected to serve as at least Detroit’s backup against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday.

Howard has a 2.64 GAA and .916 save percentage in 29 starts this season. He’s scheduled to represent Team USA in the upcoming Winter Olympics.

  1. polegojim - Jan 27, 2014 at 9:18 PM

    Glad to have Jimmy back, but am ready to see Mrazek solidify at the NHL level

  2. haroldworsley - Jan 27, 2014 at 10:50 PM

    Jimmy isn’t ready to come back yet. They’re rushing his recovery along, and he definitely shouldn’t be going to Sochi (his spot can be easily filled and managed by the Lightening’s Ben Bishop).

    Howard has had a horrible season and was probably injured during training camp. As a Wings fan I don’t want to even see him play until the end of February after giving him at least six weeks healing time.

    As for Petr Mrazek, he should have been back in Grand Rapids weeks ago where he would have seen much more playing time than he did in Detroit. Jared Coreau should have been the one riding the bench in Detroit instead of Mrazek (Thomas McCollum can’t be called up to Detroit this season because he only has an AHL contract and not a two way NHL/AHL contract). It will be good to see Mrazek back in Grand Rapids, but I can’t help but think he will be a little rusty given his lack of playing time in Detroit.

    While I think at the start of this season Detroit was looking to shed Jonas Gustavsson’s contract at the conclusion of this season, I think they’re going to have to sign him for at least one more year so Mrazek can get the playing time in he needs in Grand Rapids to develop adequately as an NHL goaltender. Originally I think they were looking to Mrazek up to back up Howard full time in 2014-15. Now they’ll be likely paying Gustavsson in the neighborhood of $3 million for backing up Howard next season.

    • hockeydon10 - Jan 28, 2014 at 2:25 PM

      To be perfectly honest I’m pretty okay with retaining Gus as backup. .914 for a backup is nothing to be upset about.

      Cap’s going up, Sammy is going out. Maybe (hopefully) Bert and Cleary too. That leaves room to give Gus $3M instead of the $1.5 he’s making now.

      • polegojim - Jan 28, 2014 at 7:57 PM

        Agreed… as a backup… But with Howards season, Gus has actually been a starter…and .914 is NOT good in that situation.

        Mrazek needs ice time AND NHL experience.

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