Sounds like it’s a bulging disc after all, despite the earlier report. But on the plus side, he probably doesn’t need surgery.
Doesn’t look like he’ll be back during the regular season, though. Good thing Conklin cleared, eh?
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Update (9:54 PM): Added headline link I’d accidentally left out. – Matt
It’s not a bulging disk. But it is scar tissue, and it is putting pressure on his sciatic nerve, which is a problem. There’s nothing in here about surgery, but that’s what I hear when I read things like â€œI think thatâ€™s what it is, but the scar tissue is pushing up against it and causing that shooting pain down my leg.”
Guess we’ll see. But I’m hoping 1) Ty Conklin doesn’t get picked up off waivers, and 2) he can bring the strong play he’s presented in the AHL with him.
Joey MacDonald has back spasms.
Of course he does.
Ansar Khan expresses the argument for sending MacDonald back to Grand Rapids:
@onthewings Wouldn’t it be better for MacDonald to play regularly in GR, to stay sharp, instead of watching 22 of the last 24 games here?
— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) February 16, 2012
@onthewings Sharp in case Howard gets hurt and MacDonald is needed late in the season or the playoffs.
— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) February 16, 2012
As I told Ansar in response to that last tweet, I guess I’ve been so focused on considering the Wings toast should Howard go down that I’ve not considered the fact that MacDonald would technically be a better injury replacement than Conklin.
I’m not convinced it’d make a difference in the end, but who knows? Maybe if Jimmy does go down and Mac steps in, some magic happens. I guess it’s possible, given how the Wings seem to play well in front of Mac, right? I definitely don’t feel like it’d be the slightest possibility with Conklin.
I’d still prefer to keep him around to get a few starts down the stretch. But it’s conceivable the Wings will see some advantage in him getting regular playing time in order to boost the odds of that magic happening, should they need it.
So says Ken Holland. Can the media stop assuming he’s headed back to Grand Rapids now?
The Jimmy Howard injury has put the fact that the Wings are screwed without him front and center. And it has jumpstarted the debate: do the Wings need a #1B or a #2 goaltender to go with Jimmy?
I’m defining #1B as one half of a Luongo/Schneider or Rask/Thomas combo, the kind of guy you could be about as comfortable with in the playoffs as you are with Jimmy. A #2 guy is a traditional backup, the kind of guy who spells your #1 guy during the regular season and who charts faceoffs just about no matter what in the playoffs.
Add Joey MacDonald to the mix and you’ve got three ways forward (four if you count Conklin, but who is?).
I see a #1B guy as out of reasonable reach, 1) because who’s trading a starter at the deadline and 2) the cost is sure to be high for those that are available. And I see a #2 guy as relatively pointless: you deal an asset for a guy who Â may only be a marginal improvement over Joey MacDonald and he’s still not a viable tool in the playoffs.
Boston and Vancouver get to have that kind of strength in net because it more or less happened organically. The chips didn’t fall that way for the Wings. Â So they may Â need to go the traditional one horse route for the playoffs, unless they’re willing to get in on a deal that will equivalently diminish another aspect of the team on the off chance that they might need another goaltender in the playoffs.
I say, assuming his promising outing Saturday night doesn’t turn out to be anÂ anomaly, Joey MacDonald may present the best way forward in terms of setting Jimmy up to succeed in the playoffs. If he can prove to be the kind of guy who can spell Howard down the stretch, the Wings are golden.
What they Â need is a guy who can take care of Jimmy’s nights off now. And Mac may be that guy.
Update (12:28 PM): The latest, via Khan. So that’s good. – Matt
Update (10:07 AM): Press release from the team confirms the Joey Mac recall and the Howard right-hand injury. They say he’ll miss at least the next two games, and that he’ll be reevaluated when the team gets back to Detroit on Tuesday.
The two week timeline came from somewhere, but the team’s not making it official yet, at least. – Matt
Update (9:56 AM):
Word is Jimmy Howard has a broken pinkie, should be out about 2 weeks or so…
â€” Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) February 3, 2012
We’ll see if Conklin can rise to the occasion. The Wings can’t afford to fall back much at all as tight as the race is.
Also, George notes it’s his right hand, since he remembers the circumstances leading up to Jimmy’s trip to the bench. – Matt
â€” Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) February 3, 2012
No press release from the Wings yet or record of the move on the AHL website. But there’s no reason to disbelieve Ward. No confirmation from Detroit media yet. They’re probably still out of action thanks to the time difference.
Jimmy was at the bench in the third period, though at the time it seemed to be an equipment issue. Piet Van Zant was there, however, which is never a good sign even though Jimmy went back to the crease and finished the game.
Ugh. Ugh. Doesn’t even begin to cover it.
Assuming Ward’s report is right, it is possible that it’s not something that’ll keep him out too long. But this is where the Wings complete lack of a capable (thus far) backup could really come back to bite them.