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Howard Starting

Paul for George who is improving.

The beat writers report from the morning skate that Jimmy Howard will start tonight.

Thoughts?

added 11:43am, Quincey is a healthy scratch.

added 12:21pm, via Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Goaltender Jimmy Howard is returning to lead the Detroit Red Wings in goal with five games remaining before the playoffs.

The Wings host the Predators at 7:30 tonight Howard hasn’t played since re-aggravating a groin injury March 19 against Washington, but coach Mike Babcock decided he’s the best man for the job as the Wings look to pad their one-point lead on fourth place in the Western Conference.

“Everything seems to be OK,” Babcock said. “He says he’s feeling good about himself, so obviously, we’d like to get him going.”

Babcock is making one other change to tonight’s lineup, as he’s pulling defenseman Kyle Quincey, whom the Wings acquired a week before the trade deadline, and inserting reserve d-man Jakub Kindl. Quincey hasn’t had a particularly slick transition since joining the Wings a month ago, but Babcock made a point of saying nothing should be read into this decision other than that he wants everyone to play before the playoffs.

“We have seven D,” Babcock said. “We believe we really have depth on D. I told the D before the Columbus game we’re going to have a rotation. I wouldn’t spend a whole lot of time worrying about that. That’s just what I decided to do. I thought Kuba’s played great his last five or six games. So you’ll see a different guy out next guy.”

added 12:45pm, from Chuck Pleiness of Red Wings Front,

Defenseman Kyle Quincey perplexed in being a healthy scratch tonight against Nashville.

“I don’t know what the plan is,” Quincey said when asked if there was a rotation on the blue line. “You guys are telling me more than I know. I’ll just come to the rink everyday and work hard.

“I’m not surprised,” Quincey added. “We have seven great D. It is what it is. Obviously you want to be playing, you’re a hockey player. I would like to be playing.”

continued

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Comments

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The beat writers report from the morning skate that Jimmy Howard will start tonight.

Thoughts?

Thank God! I don’t think my stomach could take Conklin starting in such an important game.  Love the guy, but he’s not what he was in 2009.

Posted by Karen W. from Cleveland, OH on 03/30/12 at 01:19 PM ET

wedge56's avatar

I’m torn.  Usually goalies aren’t exactly at their sharpest when returning from injury, but it has to happen some time.  Let’s see if we can keep TooToo from running him over this time.

Has their been any news on Joey Mac’s back?

Posted by wedge56 on 03/30/12 at 01:45 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

I don’t like it. He has a wonky groin that he injured and then re-injured (possibly by coming bask too soon). This is not desperation time; we’ve already qualified for the playoffs. These are essentially meaningless games. There are five games left, so let him play the last two.

Most important thing right now: get healthy and stay healthy

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 03/30/12 at 01:54 PM ET

YYZerman's avatar

added 11:43am, Quincey is a healthy scratch.


Is it me or does Quincey still look like the “call up” that just can’t hack it on the Wings? I don’t know his exact numbers and don’t want to look them up, but just watching how he’s played, I’m not sold on him.

Posted by YYZerman from Detroit, Michigan on 03/30/12 at 01:54 PM ET

DrewBehr's avatar

So we gave up a first round draft pick for a healthy scratch? Might as well have just kept Commodore.

Posted by DrewBehr from The Mitten on 03/30/12 at 01:58 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

So we gave up a first round draft pick for a healthy scratch? Might as well have just kept Commodore.

Maybe uncle mike just want’s his attention.  This should get it.

Posted by MoreShoot on 03/30/12 at 02:04 PM ET

DocF's avatar

Two things here.

First, Howard has to get ready for the playoffs too.  Coming back now give him the time to do that.  Coming back now gives the Wings a chance to beat their most likely playoff opponent.  The way they have played on the road, home ice is going to be very important.

Second, Kindl and Ericsson need to skate into game shape.  Quincey needs to get himself integrated into the Red Wings scheme of things.  These all take time and will have to be priorities. 

I also note that Nyquist is in for Mursak.  The late start after the broken ankle has pretty much made for a wasted year for Mursak.  He is still getting up to speed as I suggested he would be before he returned.  That is tough, but it is the way these things go.  I look forward to having both of them skating for the Wings next year.  They can be dynamic and exciting players.

Doc

Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 03/30/12 at 02:32 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

I kind of liked watching Nyquist skate with Pavel.  If Helm were in the lineup, we might see Franzen with him and Nyquist getting time on Pav’s line.  He skates, which is more than Mule is doing these days.

Posted by MoreShoot on 03/30/12 at 02:38 PM ET

Avatar

As a fan, I’d be comfortable with Jimmy sitting out until Sunday. Groin injuries “ain’t nuttin’ to f___ with.”

Quincey actually looks more shaky now than he did with his first go on the Wings. He’s had some bad luck, but he’s also had some bad turnovers and questionable pinches.

Posted by Jesters Dead on 03/30/12 at 02:45 PM ET

Avatar

Another optional skate.

Posted by Herm from the office on 03/30/12 at 03:08 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Babcock contradicting something he said earlier in the week (“can’t start a goalie back from injury in a game as important as Friday”). There is panic in Hockeytown, dear friends.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 03/30/12 at 03:41 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Faux your panic, good sir. The Wings are in the playoffs. We’re good until Game 1, Round 1.

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 03/30/12 at 04:08 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

There is panic in Hockeytown, dear friends.
Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 03/30/12 at 01:41 PM ET

Panic in Detroit

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 03/30/12 at 04:16 PM ET

SYF's avatar

For the first time, I’m not comfortable with Jimmah in net returning from a re-aggravated groin injury.

I want to be proven desperately wrong.

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 03/30/12 at 04:37 PM ET

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Re: re-aggravating an injury: again, with an injury like this there’s really no way to be absolutely sure that Howard is all better without him playing. And if he is all better, he needs to get playing time before the playoffs start. Saying “keep him out another game” just to be sure until the end of the season just serves to ensure he’s not in game shape come playoffs.

After Babcock said anyone not playing against Columbus won’t come back and putting Howard back in and sitting Quincey is probably partially a response to how the team played in Columbus, but there’s no way Babcock would make these changes if he didn’t think it gave the team the best chance to win.

Posted by bleep bloop on 03/30/12 at 05:06 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

there’s no way Babcock would make these changes if he didn’t think it gave the team the best chance to win.
Posted by bleep bloop on 03/30/12 at 03:06 PM ET

I don’t doubt that. But I don’t trust Babcock’s thinking and it looks like the players have tuned him out.  This is his seventh year behind the bench for the Wings. Scotty was the only coach that did not have a shelf life. I think Uncle Mike has reached the end of his. Too bad he still has three more seasons on his contract.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 03/30/12 at 05:33 PM ET

Avatar

I really don’t know why everyone is fretting over Howard’s return. This team as it is can’t win a championship with Howard or anyone else in net. Personally I’m hoping that a first round defeat might actually convince Holland that some significant changes are needed with this roster and/or coaching staff. I doubt it would, though. This is possibly going to be the most significant off season in at least 20 years, and I for one am very nervous about Holland’s ability or willingness to make the right moves to ensure that Detroit doesn’t become just another playoff contender.

But on a lighter note, beat the Preds! Yay. It’ll really make a difference.

Posted by godblender on 03/30/12 at 06:24 PM ET

YzermanZetterberg's avatar

I seem to remember people saying the players had tuned Scotty out from time to time too. The difference is that Scotty was—and is—a living legend and was perceived as invulnerable. If the Wings are tuning Babcock out, they need to pull their heads out of their collective rear ends and tune him back in.

Posted by YzermanZetterberg on 03/30/12 at 06:36 PM ET

Avatar

Given that none of us play for the Wings, sit in the Wings’ locker room, or have personally spoken with the players about Babcock, the notion that the players have “tuned out” Babcock is pure speculation, which is a fancy word for BS.

These are professional athletes who are used to being coached since they were kids. Some lousy games on the players’ parts doesn’t automatically mean that they have become un-coachable. Funny how no one ever proposes the converse: when the Wings play great, they are “tuning in” Babcock.

Posted by Seaner from San Jose on 03/30/12 at 07:18 PM ET

Norskirama's avatar

Given that none of us play for the Wings, sit in the Wings’ locker room, or have personally spoken with the players about Babcock, the notion that the players have “tuned out” Babcock is pure speculation, which is a fancy word for BS.
These are professional athletes who are used to being coached since they were kids. Some lousy games on the players’ parts doesn’t automatically mean that they have become un-coachable. Funny how no one ever proposes the converse: when the Wings play great, they are “tuning in” Babcock.

this!

Posted by Norskirama from Lincoln, Nebraska on 03/30/12 at 08:52 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.