Red Wings goaltender Ville Husso can't catch a break

Ville Husso re-injured himself ahead of his conditioning stint with the Grand Rapids Griffins.
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At one point during the first half of last season, the Detroit Red Wings looked as though they'd found their next franchise netminder. Ville Husso started his Red Wings career with a bang, going 14-8-5 over his first 28 starts, posting three shutouts and a .904 save percentage. Husso looked to be Detroit's best option in goal since Jimmy Howard, but then the wheels fell off.

During the second half of last year, things didn't go so well for Husso; in turn, the Red Wings season and playoff hopes collapsed. Over his final 28 games of the season, Husso recorded a 12-14-2 record with one shutout and a poor .887 save percentage. Husso could not finish the year due to a lower-body injury and some mental fatigue. That left the Red Wings to turn to Magnus Hellberg and Alex Nedeljkovic; both struggled mightily. Ironically, it's been Nedeljkovic leading the charge for the Pittsburgh Penguins over the past couple of weeks with Tristan Jarry sidelined with an injury.

Husso was shaky to begin the 2023-24 season despite his 9-5-2 record; he's played to 3.55 goals against average and a .892 save percentage. His persistent struggles led the Detroit Red Wings to keep three netminders on their roster for the duration of the season. Also, the Red Wings were reluctant to place Alex Lyon on waivers for fear of losing him. Since the initial injury to Husso this past December, another lower-body issue, Lyon has taken over as Detroit's clear top option in goal. Still, it's a position general manager Steve Yzerman will undoubtedly be looking to upgrade this summer as they wait for phenom and top goaltender prospect Sebastian Cossa to prove he's ready for a full-time NHL job (probably 2025-26). The alternative is to roll with the combination of Husso and Lyon next season, as they're both under contract. Yet, with Husso's injury history, it would be quite the gamble, especially if the Red Wings hope to take another step forward and compete in the postseason.

Detroit Red Wings goaltender Ville Husso injured again

Following his injury in December, Husso played just about nine minutes in his return in mid-February due to another lower-body injury. This past Saturday night things took yet another turn as Husso suffered another lower-body injury while preparing for a conditioning stint with the Grand Rapids Griffins.

With just three games left in Detroit's schedule, it was always going to be a long shot to see Husso back during the regular season. However, I hoped he'd complete his conditioning stint with the Griffins and be available to spell Lyon in the postseason if the Red Wings found a way to qualify. The most recent setback looks to have put that off the table.

After the injury to Husso, the Griffins turned yet again to Cossa, who had been riding an impressive 19-game point streak into the game, but saw that wild streak snapped, losing 2-0 to Rockford. Cossa made 22 saves in the loss. Cossa is 19-8-9 this season, with the Griffins backed by a .912 save percentage and a 2.46 goals-against average.