Howard or Conklin?

DETROIT — Just a few days ago, Wings coach Mike Babcock said if Jimmy Howard wasn’t ready to play Wednesday against Columbus his No. 1 goalie wasn’t going to play Friday against Nashville.

However, Babcock may be in the midst of changing his mind.

“I’m a big believer in having a guy ready before he gets into a situation like this, so I’ll talk to Jimmy (Bedard) and we’ll decide what’s going on,” Babcock said. “I think they are being extra, extra, extra careful. I don’t have anything to do with this. My big thing is, is he ready to play or not ready to play. I didn’t even watch him today. I had lots of other things to watch. We’ll probably make a decision after the skate tomorrow morning.”

Howard, who will dress because the Wings reassigned Jordan Pearce to Grand Rapids before practice, has been sidelined twice this month for a total of seven games with the same groin injury.

“I’m very eager, I mean, I haven’t played a lot here in the last month and a half, and I’m sick and tired of watching them on TV, so I’m excited to get back out onto the ice,” Howard said. “I would love to be out there tomorrow night, but if (Babcock) has a different plan from what he said the other day, you know, I have to respect that.”

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