Detroit Red Wings Notebook: Jimmy Howard To Start in Dallas

Bleacher ReportSenior Analyst IFebruary 16, 2008

… Both Ansar Khan and Bruce MacLeod report that Jimmy Howard will start tomorrow in Dallas.

He has not started an NHL game since December 13, 2005, when he was pulled after allowing three goals on sixteen shots during the Wings’ 7-6 loss to Atlanta.

Given that the Wings seem to play more carefully in front of the young goaltender, this is probably a good move. They have not been giving Chris Osgood much support and he could probably use a game off to regain confidence in his teammates.

… Dominik Hasek (hip flexor) will not make the trip to Denver and Colorado, and it does not look like he’ll be back until  next Saturday in Vancouver.

… Brian Rafalski (groin) will make the trip, but it looks like he won’t be back until Monday against Colorado.

… Niklas Kronwall (clavicle) is also going along with the team, but Khan says he won’t be back until the Calgary game on Friday at the earliest.

... With Kronwall and Rafalski remaining out, Kyle Quincey will stay with the team at least one more game. 

… Khan also provides some mixed-up lines that Babcock tried in practice:

Franzen-Datsyuk-Holmstrom
Filppula-Zetterberg-Samuelsson
Kopecky-Draper-Maltby
Hudler-Drake-Downey (Ellis working in)

As he points out, that top line skated together at the start of the season prior to Franzen’s knee sprain. As I wrote when Dan Cleary went down, Johan should benefit greatly from inheriting a larger role in Cleary's absence.

Let's hope he takes advantage of the move to the top line.