The Detroit Red Wings fans and goaltender Jimmy Howard received some bad news today on his broken finger, he'll be out two weeks at the earliest, six at the latest. As first reported on Friday, Howard was to miss the remaining two games on the road in Edmonton Saturday night and Phoenix on Monday, then the broken finger would be re-evaluated back in Detroit. Jimmy Howard has been a "rock" in the Detroit net (32-11-1), Ty Conklin (3-5)will step in as the starter, Joey McDonald (11-11-3) in Grand Rapids was called up as the back up. Worst case scenario is six weeks, that puts Howard's return in the middle of march. That's a lot of hockey, especially at this juncture of the season. Although Conklin's record isn't great, he has only played eight games this season. That just shows how much of an important piece Howard is in the Red Wing locker room.
"I'm hopeful it won't take the 4-to-6 weeks that they're calling for," Howard said. "Hopefully, it's only a couple of weeks. I'm being optimistic. I don't really know what the time line is, to be honest. Hopefully, I can be back even sooner."
"I have no idea how long I'll be out," he said. "I was just throwing two weeks out there because it sounded good. I haven't been told two weeks, but when they told me 4-to-6, I was like, there's no chance I'm going to sit out for six weeks. Two weeks sounded good."
The Red Wings return home after facing the Coyotes Monday night, and although the home winning streak is in jeopardy, that's not what the concern is. The way the Western Conference is, the Wings cant afford to lose in bunches. With Conklin as the back up in Detroit, obviously that organization has a lot of faith in the goaltender. He will need to step up and be in mid season form even though he's only played eight games. It's not only Conklin that needs to step up his play, but all the guys in front of him. The Wings have come out flat at times and had to play catch-up, but without their All-Star goalie between the pipes, they will have to watch their play in the defensive zone. It will be tough for sure for the Wings, but this is the adversity teams must face in order to stay amongst the elite teams in the NHL.
Follow me on Twitter @wing_nutt19