Red Wings: The rise of Jonathan Bernier and fall of Jimmy Howard

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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Red Wings
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

Now that Jonathan Bernier has returned between the pipes for the Detroit Red Wings, it is Jimmy Howard who has fallen off yet again after a rough showing after he returned from injury. Coming into 2019-20, most Red Wings, fans would never have guessed that Bernier would ultimately be the better goaltender than Howard.

The Detroit Red Wings are terrible, and both of their goalies are bad, but Jonathan Bernier is performing well above expectations and has emerged as the starter. Sadly, it seems that Jimmy Howard‘s time as the dominant starter for the Red Wings may be over, after fourteen long seasons.

First off, Howard was a solid netminder for the Red Wings for a long time, but after his performance this season, it seems like his days of being the relied on starter are over.

Both Bernier and Howard are long time veteran netminders with Howard having the better career between the two, traditionally always been a starter. But after this awful season, things may take a turn with each player’s contract situation and Bernier’s re-emergence as a serviceable goaltender.

Bernier has not like all the sudden become a top-flight goaltender, but he serves a purpose with the rebuilding Red Wings, and his numbers are phenomenal, given the situation. With him being under contract for one more season, it should be a reassurance factor for Red Wings fans to see Bernier playing as well as he has this season.

With the trade deadline approaching, the Red Wings will have an important decision to make with their goaltending options. Initially, Howard was thought to be a moveable piece coming into the season, but his performance or lack thereof has made his trade value dwindle to next to nothing.

Being that Howard will become a free agent this offseason, he was a perfect candidate to become a rental for a team who has a late goaltender injury or wants to lock down their netminder tandem to make a playoff run.

Bernier, on the other hand, has a year left on his deal, meaning he is not a rental piece like Howard is. But, with his performance as of late, Bernier would be the substantial addition that Howard was anticipated to be. His numbers are excellent, and he could provide a depth addition to any team that needs it as they make playoff pushes.

He is scheduled to eat up three million in cap space next year, which the Red Wings could honestly retain if the price is right for Red Wings General Manager(GM) Steve Yzerman.