Griffins And Walleye Feeling Impacts Of Jimmy Howard's Injury.

With the injury to Jimmy Howard, the Griffins and Walleye are also feeling the strain.

Sometimes roster moves and injures on an NHL team affect only the parent club while other times the affects are felt throughout the organization. Jimmy Howard sustained a "lower body injury" in the first period against the Islanders last night and him being out has affected the Griffins as well as the Walleye.

Jimmy Howard will miss at least tomorrow's game, so Thomas McCollum has been called up to the Wings to back up Petr Mrazek. That means the entire Grand Rapids tandem is now in Detroit. Jared Coreau has been great this year with a perfect 5-0-0 record with the Griffins and an incredible .98 GAA and .965 SV% and 1 shutout. He's perfect to be the starter for Grand Rapids with Mrazek and McCollum in Detroit. Truth be told, I'd rather have him as starter than McCollum. Coreau being in Grand Rapids left the Toledo Walleye with need for another goalie, so when Coreau was called up to GR, the Walleye signed Neil Conway to a PTO and he was backing up Jeff Lerg. Fast forward to today when McCollum is called up to Detroit and suddenly Grand Rapids needs a backup goalie for their game tonight in Cleveland against the Lake Erie Monsters. The Griffins signed Cody Reichard to a PTO today in order to have two goalies for the game. Reichard has bounced between the ECHL and AHL for the last 3 seasons, played 9 games for the Houston Aeros/Iowa Wild between 2012 and 2014, and so far this season has played 15 games for the Indy Fuel of the ECHL.

Then I found a little nugget that surprised and confuses me. In what I presume is an unrelated move, the Toledo Walleye have loaned out their current starting goaltender Jeff Lerg to the Lake Erie Monsters. Yes, the same Lake Erie Monsters that the Griffins play against tonight. I know why the Monsters need a goalie, what I don't know is why the Walleye are loaning out their starter to the Monsters. With the groin injury to Semyon Varlamov,the Avalanche recalled the Lake Erie starter Calvin Pickard (probably not related to Captain JeanLuc Picard). That left Sami Aittokallio (say that 5 times fast) as the starter in Lake Erie. That left the Monsters to draw from their new ECHL affiliate the Fort Wayne Komets. Either the rotation of goalies they've had in Fort Wayne isn't good enough to cut the mustard (just the cheese), or they needed Pat Nagle so badly in the ECHL that they couldn't do without him. Either way, the Monsters were in need of a backup goalie and for some strange reason the Walleye are loaning them one.

So, with Lerg being loaned out to Lake Erie, the Walleye (who also play tonight) have signed Justin Sand as an emergency goaltender. With the Griffins and Walleye both playing tonight it made the juggling a little tougher.

Here are the goalie tandems as they sit right now.

Detroit Red Wings Grand Rapids Griffins Tolledo Walleye
Petr Mrazek Jared Coreau Neil Conway
Thomas McCollum (Barf) Cody Reichard Justin Sand

All this goalie juggling is enough to make you dizzy, but I'm perfectly confident with Mrazek starting for Detroit and Coreau starting for Grand Rapids. We'll see what happens in Toledo, and things will only get really awkward if Jeff Lerg were to start for the Monsters tonight and play against his Walleye teammate Coreau. Let's all hope Jimmy Howard truly is sitting out for "precautionary" reasons and that he's not out for long. It's the best thing for all of us.