Tag Archives: Jimmy Howard

Blashill excited to work with both Howard and Mrazek

DETROIT >> Jeff Blashill had this to say when asked how he would handle the goalie situation in Detroit with Jimmy Howard and Petr Mrazek.

“The one thing that I know is that both Jimmy Howard and Petr Mrazek have proved at different points of their careers that they’re elite goalies. I think it’s great to have as much depth at every position you can and that’s what those guys have proven at different points of their careers. I know they’re elite competitors as well and character people. I’m excited to coach both of them.”

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Mrazek still views Howard as the No. 1 goalie; Howard says his main issue, ‘following the puck with my eyes’

DETROIT >> Jimmy Howard has pinpointed the problem he’s had of late between the pipes, tracking the puck with his eyes.

“After going over the video tape and talking to goalie coach Jim Bedard it’s just following the puck with my eyes,” Howard said. “It’s just that simple. With a goalie, if you’re not following the puck to the best of your abilities and you’re behind that split second it can make a difference.”

And because of it Howard has lost his starting job for now to Petr Mrazek.

“Everyone goes through this during the course of a season,” Howard said. “Maybe it’s a little blessing in disguise that it’s happening now and not 2-3 weeks from now.

“It’s just about working hard out on the ice,” Howard continued. “Continue to do the right things in practice and then it’ll just fall right into place in the games. When you’re out there, waiting for things to happen that’s when the puck’s going to do crazy things. You just have to go out there and play. For me the last couple of games, following the puck and using my eyes more, that’s been the issue.”

Howard has allowed eight goals on 32 shots in slightly over four periods the past two games.

“It’s not mechanically at all, but I guess in a sense it is,” Howard said. “It’s following the puck. That’s key. Especially when you get big bodies in front of you, you’ve got to focus on the puck. You can’t lose sight of the puck. Pucks are going to go in in the NHL. We all know that. It’s about brushing it off and trying to make that next save for the guys.

“I want to be out there every single night, just like everyone else when you get to this level,” Howard added. “One of the things that drives you is competing. It never sits well when I’m sitting on the bench. I want to be out there every single night. Coach feels I don’t deserve it. Maybe it’ll be a good thing to just put in a little bit of work here.”

Howard brushed off the talk about the talk of who’s the team’s number one goalie, but Mrazek did not.

“I’m know Howie is still number one I’m sure,” said Mrazek, who’ll start Saturday when the Wings host Tampa Bay. “He’s proven himself for so many years. This year he’s been great. Sometimes it’s hard for goalies when nothing hits you and everything goes in. You come back. I don’t think we should talk about the No. 1 goalie. I think that’s for sure it’s Howie.”

Howard allowed three goals on 10 shots in the first period of Thursday’s 6-4 loss to the San Jose Sharks and was replaced by Mrazek to start the second.

“I don’t think it’s a confidence issue at all,” Howard said. “I think it really is the minor thing of following the puck and not losing sight of it out there. That can make up for a split second. When you lose the puck out there you, you’re behind the play for a second and that can be the difference.”

Howard, who turned 31 on Thursday, has been very inconsistent since returning in mid-February from a groin injury.

He was easily one of the reasons why the Wings are where they’re at now because of his strong play to start the season.

“It’s not all on him,” Darren Helm said. “We’re giving up too many chances. The good thing about Jimmy is he’s going to come and play now it’s just a matter of time. Right now he’s going through a little stretch like the whole team is going through it. We have to find a way to battle hard through it and get ourselves back on track.”

Detroit is 3-7-1 in its past 11 games.

Wings coach Mike Babcock: “Give Pete an opportunity here because we need that area fixed.”

DETROIT >> Wings coach Mike Babcock gave Jimmy Howard one more chance to keep his No. 1 status between the pipes.

And now Babcock has taken it away.

After allowing three goals on 10 shots after one period in Thursday’s 6-4 loss to the San Jose Sharks at Joe Louis Arena, Babcock made the switch to Petr Mrazek the rest of the way.

Babcock then handed Mrazek the starting role for the time being after the game.

“When you’re behind like we are, you’re giving up too many goals,” Babcock said. “Let’s not worry about the turnovers at this point. Let’s fix how we’re playing without the puck, let’s get … Pete Mrzek’s got to get himself ready to go. Give Pete an opportunity here because we need that area fixed.

“It’s amazing when you get a little confidence in that area we can all settle down and get playing better,” Babcock continued. “We’ve scored tons of goals in the last couple of games but like I said it’s like chasing the game. You can’t play like that, you’ve got to play right. So we’re going to get regrouped and I guarantee we’ll be ready to play.”

Howard has allowed eight goals on 32 shots in slightly over four periods.

“I agree with you,” Babcock said when asked if Howard looked uncomfortable in the first period. “It’s one of those things. I haven’t talked to him, I’ll talk to him (Friday), but obviously it didn’t go the way he wanted.

“We gave him an opportunity to bounce back, he didn’t do that,” Babcock added. “We’ll give Pete Mrazek an opportunity here. As a group of coaches and a group of players we just got to bunker in here (Friday) and have a good conversation, have a good practice and get ready to play. Like I said we’ll be back ready to go.”

Howard, who turned 31 on Thursday, has been very inconsistent since returning in mid-February from a groin injury.

He was easily one of the reasons why the Wings are where they’re at now because of his strong play to start the season.

When Babcock was asked if he had a No. 1 goalie he responded with, “I’m starting Pete Mrazek next game.”

Mrazek also gave up a softy to Patrick Marleau, which proved to be the game winner.

“I didn’t like the second goal,” Babcock said. “Was that the fifth goal? When you’ve given up as many as we have it’s hard to remember. But the one, the chicken wing.

“(Logan) Couture’s shot’s a great shot, but that can’t happen to you,” Babcock continued. “But he’ll get the start next game and we need him to bunker down and play the way he’s capable of playing.”

The Wings, who lost 5-4 in overtime on Tuesday to Arizona, host Tampa Bay on Saturday.

“Same goes for everyone else,” Babcock said. “We had D that didn’t box out and weren’t ready to go at the start either. We’re all in this together. We took our lumps here today and last game. We’ve given up a lot of goals at home. That’s not how we want to play. That’s not Red Wing-like. We’ll come in here tomorrow and get it fixed.”

Detroit is 3-7-1 in its past 11 games.

Jimmy Howard has a target date for his return … Feb. 11 in Pittsburgh

DETROIT >> As far as recovering from an injury goes, everything is right on track for Wings goalie Jimmy Howard.

Howard took part in his first practice with the team Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena, albeit splitting time with Tom McCollum, since injuring his groin in the first period Jan. 10 in Washington.

“Even though it was just spot duty it felt great to be back out there,” Howard said. “I was out there before on my own with (goalie coach) Jimmy (Bedard) and then came out and did all the goalie drills at the beginning and stayed out for about 30 minutes in practice. It was good, didn’t really feel anything, so we’re just going to continue to push it.”

The best news is he has a target date to return, a week from Wednesday on the road against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

“I think we’re right on schedule of where we want to be,” Howard said. “We don’t want to push it too soon, but we also don’t want to be out longer than I have to be, so we’re doing everything I think at the right pace.

“Hopefully against Pittsburgh I’ll be back out there,” Howard continued. “That’s what we’re shooting for. At first we had Phoenix circled, but we thought that would probably be just rushing it a little too much and Pitt will allow me a couple more practices to push it.”

Howard will gradually increase the intensity at practices during the Wings’ trip to Colorado and Arizona.

“Basically I bag myself out there so the legs and lungs are ready to go,” Howard said.

Howard was injured after he gave the puck away behind the net and then lunged his left leg backwards to try and reach the post before Washington’s Troy Brouwer scored just 1:53 into the first period.

He was carted off on a stretcher.

“I think I definitely escaped series injury,” Howard said. “When it happened I was really nervous, not being able to put any pressure on the leg or basically walk. I was on crutches for 24-48 hours. It responded well after a couple of days of being off of it.”

Howard is in the midst of having one of his best seasons in Detroit, posting a 16-7-7 record, with a 2.11 goals-against average and .920 save percentage.

He was also the Wings’ lone All-Star choice, but could not participate at the event because of the injury.

Despite his absence Detroit has gone 7-1-0 with Petr Mrazek getting the bulk of the workload.

“It’s progressed every single day, so it’s good,” Howard said. “We haven’t had any setbacks, knock on wood. Hopefully we can just keep pushing it.”

Wings injury updates … Howard skates briefly on his own; Jurco takes part in full practice

DETROIT >> Here are a few injury updates.

— Tomas Jurco (lower back pain) took part in his first full practice since leaving after two periods against Edmonton on Jan. 6. It’ll all depend how he reacts Tuesday morning if he’ll be back in the lineup.

“I felt good,” Jurco said. “It wasn’t too hard, but it’s different in a game. Way different. I need to make sure I’m ready then I can go.”

— Jimmy Howard (groin) skated on his own briefly for the first time since getting injured on Jan. 10. He’ll make the road trip to Florida.

“I don’t want to say anything just yet,” Howard said when asked about a possible date for his return. “We don’t know what’s going to happen in the near future. We’re just going to keep following the timetable we have, 3-4 weeks and hopefully it just keeps getting better.”

Howard said he hasn’t watched the replay of his injury, that he had to taken out on a stretcher when it occurred.

“I don’t know if it was when my foot hit the post or when I extended,” Howard said. “I heard something pop and found out the next day I had a tear.

“I was in so much pain,” Howard continued. “But after a week I was able to go up and down the stairs and everything like that again, so it was kind of nice.”

— Jonas Gustavsson (shoulder) and Jakub Kindl (sprained elbow) practiced. Both are most likely out Tuesday, which means defenseman Xavier Ouellet will remain in the lineup and goalie Tom McCollum with backup Petr Mrazek.

— Johan Franzen (concussion-like symptoms) did not practice.

Severity of Howard’s injury still undetermined

DETROIT >> For the time being, this is Petr Mrazek’s team.

Mrazek has been elevated to the Wings’ No. 1 goalie after the team placed Jimmy Howard on injured reserve with a groin injury.

“It’s a good opportunity for him,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “We’re going to have to get him settled down a little bit. There’s a point where he challenges and then over-challenges. We’ve got to get that under control. We should have no trouble with that.”

It’s still not known the extent of Howard’s injury.

He had an MRI Sunday, but will need to have an ultrasound Monday to determine the severity of the injury.

Howard, who had just been named to the 2015 All-Star Game, was injured Saturday night after he gave the puck away behind the net and then lunged his left leg backwards to try and reach the post before Washington’s Troy Brouwer scored just 1:53 into the first period.

He was taken from the ice on a stretcher.

Howard was having one of his best seasons of his career. He’s 16-7-7 record in 32 games while ranking fourth in the NHL in goals-against average (2.11) and tied for 11th in save percentage (.920).

Mrazek is the Wings’ goalie of the future.

“He’s a good goaltender, he plays the puck well and he’ll win games for us,” Babcock said.

This season he’s 5-3-1 with a 2.29 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage.

“For being a young guy he plays with a lot of confidence,” Jonathan Ericsson said. “I like the way he wants to stay in the game, he wants to play the puck for us. He looks confident doing that and that makes us confident about him.

“I think he’s been making some really nice plays, better passes than the D sometimes,” Ericsson continued. “He’s making big saves for us. I feel like he’s comfortable and confident back there. That’s everything about today’s game.”

Mrazek has played 20 career NHL games, with a 8-8-3 record.

“When I played three games in a row before Christmas, I felt great,” Mrazek said. “Always when you can play lots of games in a row, it helps you get confidence and you’re going get into the game. But it’s not nice to see Howie hurt.”

Because Jonas Gustavsson is still recovering from a shoulder injury he suffered in November, the Wings recalled Tom McCollum from Grand Rapids. McCollum is 10-8-1 this season with the Griffins with a 2.33 GAA and .911 save percentage in 21 games.

Howard placed on injured reserve; Mrazek elevated to No. 1 goalie

DETROIT >> For the time being, this is Petr Mrazek’s team.

Mrazek has been elevated to the Wings’ No. 1 goalie after the team placed Jimmy Howard on injured reserve with a groin injury.

“It’s a good opportunity for him,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “We’re going to have to get him settled down a little bit. There’s a point where he challenges and then over-challenges. We’ve got to get that under control. We should have no trouble with that.”

It’s still not known the extent of Howard’s injury.

He was scheduled to have an MRI Sunday afternoon.

Howard, who had just been named to the 2015 All-Star Game, was injured Saturday night after he gave the puck away behind the net and then lunged his left leg backwards to try and reach the post before Washington’s Troy Brouwer scored just 1:53 into the first period.

He was taken from the ice on a stretcher.

Howard was having one of his best seasons of his career. He’s 16-7-7 record in 32 games while ranking fourth in the NHL in goals-against average (2.11) and tied for 11th in save percentage (.920).

Mrazek is the Wings’ goalie of the future.

“He’s a good goaltender, he plays the puck well and he’ll win games for us,” Babcock said.

This season Mrazek’s 5-3-1 with a 2.29 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage.

“For being a young guy he plays with a lot of confidence,” Jonathan Ericsson said. “I like the way he wants to stay in the game, he wants to play the puck for us. He looks confident doing that and that makes us confident about him.

“I think he’s been making some really nice plays, better passes than the D sometimes,” Ericsson continued. “He’s making big saves for us. I feel like he’s comfortable and confident back there. That’s everything about today’s game.”

Mrazek has played 20 career NHL games, with a 8-8-3 record.

“When I played three games in a row before Christmas, I felt great,” Mrazek said. “Always when you can play lots of games in a row, it helps you get confidence and you’re going get into the game. But it’s not nice to see Howie hurt.”

Because Jonas Gustavsson is still recovering from a shoulder injury he suffered in November, the Wings recalled Tom McCollum from Grand Rapids.

McCollum is 10-8-1 this season with the Griffins with a 2.33 GAA and .911 save percentage in 21 games.