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Howard recalled; Drake on IR

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings
DETROIT -- With veteran Dominik Hasek bothered by an irritated hip for the last week, the Red Wings have recalled goalie Jimmy Howard from the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League.

“To think that you’re going to go 82 games and not have injuries isn’t realistic,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “When you’re not playing well and you have injuries you have a problem. Certainly the injury to (Johan) Franzen has allowed us to go out and find Mattie Ellis; there’s an opportunity there.”

The plan for now is for Howard to make the three-city trip through Western Canada with the Wings next week. Chris Osgood will get the start against San Jose on Friday at Joe Louis Arena.

In four games played this season, Howard has posted a 3-1 record with a 3.00 goals-against average and a .902 save percentage. With a 29-save performance on October 11, he became just the fourth Griffins goalie to earn 50 career wins joining Joey MacDonald (87), Marc Lamothe (54), and Mike Fountain (55).

Howard, 23, has played in four games -- all during the 2005-06 season -- with the Red Wings with a 1-2 record and a 2.98 GAA. During the summer, he made the commitment to improve his stamina, losing 15 pounds in the process.

Holland said he'd now like to see Howard join the elite goalies in AHL.

“I think he needs to establish himself this winter as a real premiere American League goaltender," Holland said. "We would prefer to not see him all year because that means Hasek is healthy, Osgood is healthy. But with this minor injury to Hasek, for Jimmy to come up right now on the heals of a postive training camp, it will be good for him to come up here for a few days.”

In another roster move, the team placed Dallas Drake (fractured cheekbone) on injured reserve. Drake, who was injured during the Wings’ game in San Jose on October 18, is expected to miss about a week.

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