Believe it or not, Jimmy Howard is doing his job in the net for the Detroit Red Wings. Unfortunately, he isn’t getting the support he needs to rack up the wins. In fact, the Wings goaltender suffered his first career loss against the Buffalo Sabres Tuesday night with a 1-0 final score. The veteran stopped 31 shots while his team was shutout for their fifth straight loss.
Although he’s 4-3 on the season, Howard has a .924 save percentage. And, for some reason, the Red Wings have continued to juggle starting goalies for the past three seasons. Last season it was out of necessity due to Howard’s injuries. But it remains a question as to why Jeff Blashill has neglected to name a starting goalie for the 2017-18 season. Especially considering Petr Mrazek‘s performance thus far.
Mrazek has one win in three starts this year, with a .901 save percentage. Perhaps the best play we’ve seen from him was on October 18 when the Maple Leafs chased Howard before the end of the first period. Mrazek finished the game allowing two goals on 21 shots.
On top of that, the team’s overall performance has been “embarrassing.” But, on the bright side, it sounds like Andreas Athanasiou will soon join the Wings roster.
Andreas Athanasiou joins Red Wings, closer to return https://t.co/Dh0us5z63y @RedWingsMLive #LGRW pic.twitter.com/IqYIhvNpsQ
— DetroitSportsNation (@detsportsnation) October 25, 2017
His offensive talent could be the move Detroit needs to start giving their goaltenders some support on the scoreboard. Last season with the Wings, the young forward had 29 points in 64 games. We may see Athanasiou take Darren Helm’s spot in the lineup.
General manager Ken Holland said Andreas Athanasiou has received a work permit and will be joining the Red Wings in Florida. https://t.co/w8GBt65xRU
— Detroit News Sports (@detnews_sports) October 25, 2017
According to The Detroit News, Athanasiou will need to pass a physical before he starts playing with the team. From there, it will be up to Blashill as to when he sees ice time. He’ll need to get in a few practices before he enters the lineup, and is expected to practice with the team tonight in Tampa Bay, Florida. We could see him in a game as early as Saturday against the Florida Panthers.
Next up, the Wings face the Tampa Bay Lightning on the road Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. (ET).