He didn't get beat by just any rookie goalie, he got beat out mahf***in' Petr Mrazek. In all seriousness, the best way to go is to allow Howard to get a significant number of starts then trade him at the deadline. Of course, his ntc complicates things, but I'm sure he'd waive it for a chance to be a starter again.
If he doesn't do well in those starts, it's a problem. I'm thrilled with the way Mrazek has played so far, but when you see what's happened to guys like Hammond and Darling, I'm not going to anoint him to the Hall of Fame just yet.