Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Is It Time For The Detroit Red Wings To Make A Switch In Net?

Jimmy Howard is the undisputed starting goaltender for the Detroit Red Wings and when he went down with a hand injury Red Wing fans were worried about what would happen because Jonas Gustavsson did not have a good first season in Detroit.

Gustavsson put those qualms to rest when he came up big for the Red Wings after Howard went down. Gustavsson was thrown into the fire after returning from a groin injury and not only played well, but led the Red Wings to 3 straight wins.

Fans became more comfortable with having Gustavsson as the back-up for the Red Wings and because of that his stock started to rise for the previously troubled goaltender. Gustavsson was so good during those three games that he earned the NHL first star of the week.

Even with fans becoming comfortable with Gustavsson in net, everyone was waiting in anticipation for Howard to return from his hand injury and lead the Wings to more glory, but sadly that is not what happened for the Red WIngs.

Instead, Jimmy Howard’s return was marred with four straight losses, including a game in which Howard was pulled after letting up three goals on eight shots in the first period; Gustavsson did not fare much better in relief of Howard though and let in three goals of his own, but at least it was on 20 shots.

Those losses were not all Howie’s fault, the Wings’ defense did not step up to help out their goaltender, the offense was only able to score 5 goals in those 4 games, and a few times the team seemed to just give up on the game.

Despite the fact that it is not all Jimmy’s fault, it could be time for the Red Wings to switch things up a bit and try to reignite the teams fire and will to win.

Gustavsson proved he could hold his own and did a solid job in net during his three game stint. He was forced to make some big save and the team seemed the rally around him to keep the winning streak alive while Jimmy was out of the line-up.

There is no goalie controversy in Detroit because Jimmy Howard is the number one goalie, but Mike Babcock has to shake up this team and his changes to the forward lines has not done much to get the Wings back on track.

Let’s take a look at each goaltender’s current stats.










Jimmy Howard









Jonas Gustavsson









With the switches up front not working there is only switch left for Babcock and the Wings and that is in the net.

Gustavsson is out playing Howard in net early into the season and while the Red Wings would like to get Howard back to his winning ways continuing to turn to him after a four game losing streak is not the way to go about doing it. Howard needs a break to regain his focus and Gustavsson is ready to play.

It is time for Babcock to ride the hot hand in net and at this point early on in the season Jonas Gustavsson has the hot hand.

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Tags: Detroit Red Wings Jimmy Howard Jonas Gustavsson NHL Puck Drop

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