Howard only has two wins behind a 4.20 GAA and an .882 save percentage in 27 starts this season. Detroit's historically poor season is well documented, though few could have predicted the veteran would lose his starting job to journeyman Jonathan Bernier. Howard -- who will turn 36 years old next Thursday -- is cashing out the balance of a one-year, $5.1 million contract with the Wings; he'll be an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Howard got the hook in Thursday's 7-1 loss to the Wild after allowing five goals on 17 shots. Howard lasted just 12:05 into the second period before being replaced by Jonathan Bernier. Bernier was less busy but hardly more effective, as he also posted a sub-.800 save percentage with two goals allowed on nine shots. Starting a Red Wings goalie in fantasy, especially after the team's trade deadline selloff, is just asking for trouble.
According to Ansar Khan of MLive.com, Howard was the first goalie off the ice at morning skate, which suggests he'll get the start in goal in Thursday's home matchup with Minnesota. Howard had another disastrous outing in his last start Feb. 16 against Pittsburgh, surrendering four goals on just 16 shots before being replaced by Jonathan Bernier in the second period of the eventual 5-1 loss. The 35-year-old backstop will try to bounce back in a home matchup with a Wild club that's 12-15-2 on the road this year.
Howard stopped 12 of 16 shots before being replaced midway through the second period of Sunday's 5-1 loss to the Penguins. He really had no chance on any of the four goals, but Howard still got the hook as coach Jeff Blashill tried in vain to change the game's momentum. The veteran netminder is still looking for his first win since Oct. 29, and on the season Howard is saddled with a 4.08 GAA and .886 save percentage.
Howard will tend the road goal for Sunday's matchup versus Pittsburgh, Dana Wakiji of the Red Wings' official site reports. Howard has deserved a much better fate in his past five games, as he's gone 0-5-0 with a 3.49 GAA and .914 save percentage. The 35-year-old will draw a tough matchup against a Penguins offense that ranks eighth in the league in goals per game this campaign (3.27).
Last 7 Games
|3 Year Avg||47||18||20||3||2606||122||1||2.81||5||227.8|