Jimmy Howard Goes Down With Groin Injury, Red Wings Thin At Goalie


Prior to tonights game against the Washington Captials, Jimmy Howard found out he was the lone Red Wings representative in the 2015 NHL All Star Game. Just two minutes into the 1st period, he was being carted of the Version Center ice on a stretcher.

Jimmy Howard hit the splits position to make a save and came up in pain. After the move he curled up on the ice in excruciating pain. The Red Wings are calling it a groin injury, the severity of which will not be known until tomorrow.

The Wings won’t speculate on the severity of the injury but it didn’t look good.  After the injury, it took a few minutes for Jimmy Howard to get on his hands and knees and then took several trainers to get him on the stretcher. The severity of the injury doesn’t matter as much as the location of the injury itself.

Groin injuries are notoriously hard to heal and have a tendency to linger. Even if the injury is minor it is likely to haunt Howard for the rest of the season, putting the Red Wings goaltending stability in jeopardy. Petr Mrazek took over for Howard after he left the game and although Wings fans are used to seeing him in net, Mrazek is still the teams third goal tender. With Jonas Gustavsson still recovering from a shoulder injury that leave the Wings pretty thin at goalie for the forseeable future.

So who will the Red Wings call up from Grand Rapids to back up Mrazek until Gustavsson returns? How about 2008 1st round draft pick Tom McCollum.  The sixth year minor leaguer had his best season in 2013 getting 24 wins with a 2.30 goals against in 46 games. McCollum is 10-8-3 with a 2.33 GAA in this years campaign. 

Goal tending had been one of the Red Wings team strengths this season but that will change drastically if Jimmy Howard is out for an extended period of time. Gustavsson has yet to be tested after his shoulder injury and as good as he has been in the past there is a reason Mrazek is the third goal tender.  Hopefully the Red Wings get some good news regarding the severity of Jimmy Howard’s injury after an MRI. If Howard is out for the season they may be forced to trade for a net minder that is capable of getting the Wings through the postseason.