James Reimer will be in goal Thursday night when the Detroit Red Wings are home to face the Winnipeg Jets. But don’t read anything into that decision.
“Planned all along,” Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde said. “Obviously, a lot of hockey. We play three in four and every other day.”
The other lineup considerations: Alex DeBrincat didn’t practice Wednesday. Official diagnosis: Under the weather. Klim Kostin should be ready to play against the Jets. Jeff Petry’s status is still unknown.
“(Petry) was out early with the skating coach and we gave him the option if he felt up to it to come up for practice and to see how much he could get through practice and he got through most of it,” Lalonde said. “We’ll see how he responds in practice and make the decision on him tomorrow.”
The Red Wings are playing their fourth game in six nights and Reimer is playing his second game in that stretch. This will be his third appearance of the season. It makes perfect sense not to overtax a goalie when a team plays four games in less than a week. But Husso’s game hasn’t been razor sharp. He was working with the goalie coach Wednesday.
Husso Inconsistent Early
“I think it’s part of the process,” Lalonde said. “His numbers are not great. Probably in the bottom of the league in save percentage and goals-against, but you look at the body of work and his ability to give us opportunities to win has been really good. Excellent in his previous two starts. Probably a big reason we won. Even in those other games he’s taken points, he’s been good. Last night he probably reflected our team, where he was good, not great, and probably got what we deserved and that was one point.”
His 3.38 goals-against average and .893 save percentage speak to his inconsistency. But it doesn’t tell the story of his 35 saves to help beat the Senators in Ottawa Saturday. Reimer, meanwhile, is 2-0 with a 1.00 GAA and .963 save percentage. Lalonde likes Reimer’s consistency.
“Gives us a chance,” Lalonde said. “But he’s been consistent since Day One. From the very first practice of camp to his last game. He’s got two wins for us and some gaudy numbers for us. We’re hoping he can keep it rolling against a pretty good offensive team.”
The Red Wings are also pondering how to get Alex Lyon some playing time. For now, they will continue to carry three goalies. They see their situation as so much better than last season when
“We still want to get (Lyon) in.” It’s kind of an evaluation. I think the level of play of James Reimer has changed some of the plans on that, which is great. It’s a good problem to have. We’re going game to game here. I foresee James playing tomorrow and going from there.”
The Red Wings aren’t going to allow Lyon to get rusty. “We also have the conditioning stint option.” Lalonde said. “We’ll keep evaluating. It’s a day-to-day type thing.”