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Monster redux: Gustavsson to start again for Detroit in Game 5

Apr 25, 2014, 1:15 PM EST

jonasgustavssonap AP

In a move that’s sure to raise eyebrows, Jonas Gustavsson has been named Detroit’s starter for Saturday’s elimination game against Boston.

Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock confirmed the move on Friday, one day after “The Monster” was the surprise starter in Game 4’s 3-2 OT loss because Jimmy Howard fell ill.

One almost wants to put “ill” in quotation marks (actually, I just did it) because Babcock said he’s going on the assumption Howard will serve as Gustavsson’s backup on Saturday, which begs the question — is Howard too sick to start, yet healthy enough to back up? And why announce a starter today, rather than give Howard the next 24 hours to rest and possibly recuperate?

As for Gustavsson — he played very well on Thursday, especially given the circumstances. Despite seeing his first action in over two weeks, he stopped 37 of 40 Bruins shots for a .925 save percentage, and was sharp in OT as the Wings were out-shot 12-3 before Jarome Iginla scored the game winner at the 13:32 mark.

Update: Further to the above, here’s Howard getting kneed in the head by Carl Soderberg during Game 3, and his reaction to the contact…

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  1. 101starmymedic - Apr 25, 2014 at 1:33 PM

    Gustavsson > Howard.

  2. smarshall3789 - Apr 25, 2014 at 1:35 PM

    He played very well last night! It wasn’t his fault at all! Congrats to him on getting another start! I’m wondering if this starts goalie controversy here in Dtown! Honestly I don’t think Jimmy is the answer and he doesn’t deserve that big contract good job Holland!

    • thesportsjudge - Apr 25, 2014 at 2:21 PM

      !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      In case you forgot one or two.

    • ibieiniid - Apr 25, 2014 at 2:32 PM

      think he’ll be signed before July? running out of time.

      • ibieiniid - Apr 25, 2014 at 2:34 PM

        oh and this

      • pwshrugged - Apr 25, 2014 at 2:36 PM

        The Monster is gone after this season. Howard is the starting goalie of the Red Wings, and he’s worth his contract; it’s not his fault when the defense turns the puck over in front of him and someone buries it.

        Petr Mrazek has been very good in the AHL and is probably ready to be a full-time NHL backup next season, a move which will also be cheaper than re-signing Gustavsson.

  3. howintensive - Apr 25, 2014 at 1:57 PM

    I’m under the impression that Howard is sick, so he can’t practice today. If he doesn’t practice today, then he won’t start tomorrow.

    Stop writing articles like this. They just perpetuate the rumor mill and form rifts in teams.

    • bmurph - Apr 25, 2014 at 2:05 PM

      You should have stopped your comment after your 1st point!

      If you think some blogger (no offense Mike-you do a great job!) on PHT has the influence to cause a rift in a team, then said team has more issues than who the starting goalie is going to be.

  4. pwshrugged - Apr 25, 2014 at 2:34 PM

    I do find it curious that Howard is suddenly too “ill” to play – that’s not really normal. I do wonder if that hit to the head – which he looked a fair bit shaken by (but was incidental!) – had some effect on him. I mean, come on, seeing your goalie curled up in the fetal position in the net is just not good times.

    I agree with the point – if Howard is simply ill with the flu… why is an announcement being made publicly today? What if he feels better tomorrow? Does he have a concussion that they don’t want to talk about? Is this just some ploy to get into Boston’s head? Are they announcing Gustavsson with the intent of starting Howard?

    I don’t know. Weird.

  5. montrealbbr - Apr 25, 2014 at 2:38 PM

    Well well well a Bruin kneeing a goalie in the head huh? Im so surprised!

    • hockey412 - Apr 25, 2014 at 2:56 PM

      It was completely idiotic to shove him the goalie down. He was still standing there for one reason. He should have known that ANY contact would give him the excuse. On a team that doesn’t play clean, you can’t give that kind of excuse.

      Now, I will add, that Gallagher does the same thing, every chance he gets.

    • ibieiniid - Apr 25, 2014 at 3:01 PM

      ….he clearly was pushed. collectively shut up and wait for next round, Montreal (the city, not the guy).

    • mornelithe - Apr 25, 2014 at 3:11 PM

      Yeah, I’m with ibieiniid on this one. If you watch the top gif, Franzen (no. 93), runs into soderberg causing the eventual contact with the goalie. In the second gif, Franzen goes off in a shoving match with Jordan Caron (38) after the contact.

    • drewsylvania - Apr 25, 2014 at 5:04 PM

      You didn’t watch the GIF, did you?

      I’m sure there are some smart Habs fans. You aren’t one of them.

    • bruinsfan87 - Apr 26, 2014 at 9:52 AM

      O look a Montreal fan calling the bruins dirty! Look at the gif, he was pushed into him….now stop being butt hurt.

  6. clavette - Apr 25, 2014 at 5:33 PM

    franzen gave him a good shove into howard. seems like a stupid move on his part and perhaps this is why he wont talk to the media….. awfully suspicious

  7. sticks169 - Apr 25, 2014 at 6:36 PM

    The Bruins are goons!

    • bruinsfan87 - Apr 26, 2014 at 9:55 AM

      Sadly not. There whole team can score goals, skate and the majority of them play moderately clean. Just because they play physical and with grit doesn’t mean they are goons…look up the definition of goon. Good day and oh yah GO BRUINS!!!

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