The Detroit Red Wings have officially reached the second half of the season. They are underway and getting ready to keep pushing along. They have been riding the back of Ville Husso when it comes to their netminders.
While I recently had a piece out about Husso and his workload, the second half will be critical to managing his playing time. It’s already been a bit problematic to see how much he’s ending up in the crease night in and night out.
The point is, Husso is not Andrei Vasilevskiy, Marc-Andre Fleury, or Carey Price. The game has also shifted away from one-man shows in the blue paint. The Red Wings riding on Husso will become problematic at some point.
There has to be a point where the Red Wings shift into allowing Magnus Hellberg to see the net a bit more. If not Hellbergm, then maybe it’s time to bring Nedeljkovic back and risk losing Hellberg on the waiver wire, something Steve Yzerman has not been afraid to do.
Detroit Red Wings need to manage goaltending better in the second half.
Do not get things twisted. Husso starting game one of the second half is not the last straw or a cause for concern. But as the team gets underway, the Red Wings need to manage the workload on Husso to avoid getting to a point where he’s overused.
The Red Wings sent Husso to the crease in 34 games during the first half. He made 70% of the team’s starts in the first half, with Hellberg and Nedeljkovic being the backups. While Hellberg is with the team now, do not count out a Nedeljkovic return before the season ends.
Husso has managed a 17-11-5 record over his 34 starts with a .901 save percentage and a 3.00 goals-against average. He had proven he could be a capable starter with the Blues while stepping in as their starter.
So far, with the Red Wings, he has been good and done a great job. But he’s certainly not in the Vezina category, and making sure he’s not being run into the ground for the team to finish well out of the playoff picture, seems a bit silly.
Making sure Husso’s staying fresh is essential in the second half. While there’s a chance the team cliff dives in the standings, there’s no reason to force Husso’s into the net too often. It’s something to keep an eye on as the Red Wings keep working through the second half.