Jimmy Howard has resigned himself as Wings' backup.


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The Detroit Red Wings are off to a hot start this season and the main reason for their success has been stellar goaltending.

With the Wings off to an unexpected 6-2 start, goaltenders Petr Mrazek and Jimmy Howard have combined for a .932 team save percentage and haven't allowed more than three goals in a game since opening night.

General manager Ken Holland believes that the tandem has found their groove because there is no more competition between the two men. 

"I think Jimmy (Howard) is coming in understanding that Petr Mrazek is the No. 1 goaltender. He's the backup," Holland told ESPN's Craig Custance. "I think you have to practice different. You have a different mental outlook."

At a cap hit of 5.2 million dollars, Howard is more to the team than a simple backup. While Mrazek is the clear-cut number one, the cap-strapped Wings are hoping that keeping the veteran will pay big dividends later in the season.

"We were hoping, believing, the one-two punch we had in goal was going to be a strength," Holland said. "In the early going, it has been."

Howard, who's allowed just one goal across two starts against formidable opponents in the New York Rangers and San Jose Sharks, will get his third start this weekend when the Red Wings host Boston and Florida on back-to-back nights.