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Howard creeps up on rookie record

Goalie is four starts from setting consecutive starts mark

Thursday, 03.25.2010 / 4:12 PM ET / News
By Michelle Crechiolo  - Intern
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Howard creeps up on rookie record
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DETROITJimmy Howard’s numbers are creeping closer to the top of the Red Wings’ record books (and possibly the Calder Trophy) with each game.

Wednesday’s 4-2 win over the St. Louis Blues was 20 consecutive starts for Howard, giving him the second-longest streak by a Detroit goalie since Tim Cheveldae played 29 straight in 1991-92.

Howard’s three games from tying the franchise record for most consecutive starts by a rookie goalie, currently held by Roy Edwards, who reached 23 straight in the 1967-68 campaign.

All Howard needed to post these impressive numbers, however, was a chance to get into a groove between the pipes. He played the first half of the season as veteran Chris Osgood’s backup, and wasn’t able to maintain the right frame of mind.

“People don’t realize when you sit there for a while and then kind of play, it’s really difficult,” Howard said. “It’s a lot different than practice. There’s more traffic and pucks moving around a little bit more. So I mean, when you’re out there and you’re playing every single day, it’s a lot easier to get into a rhythm and just keep going and building off it.”

Howard is no stranger to rewriting the record books, holding the University of Maine single season and career records for shutouts, goals against average, and save percentage during his three years with the Black Bears. He also holds the NCAA single-season records for save percentage (.956) and goals against average (1.19).

Howard’s numbers, which are not just tops with the Red Wings but also in the NHL, are making him a bonafide candidate for the Calder Trophy award as the league’s top rookie. The last time the Wings had a Calder winner was 1964-65 with goalie Roger Crozier.

The 2009 winner, Columbus goalie Steve Mason, posted a 2.29 GAA with a .916 save percentage, and a 33-20-7 record.

Howard’s stats are eerily similar to Mason’s, with a 2.30 goals against average (tied for sixth), a .924 save percentage (tied for fourth), and a 30-15-9 record. Howard still has nine games remaining.

“I said to Ken Holland today, suddenly he’s in top three numbers in three categories in goaltending this year,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “That’s fantastic for us. He looks like he’s a goalie, he battles, he seems to have a real good attitude when things don’t go well for him. It just seems like water off a duck’s back, and he’s getting better, so good for us.”

The only thing Howard is interested in doing is giving the Wings a chance to win.

“When you think about that stuff and you put pressure on yourself, that’s when holes start to open up and leaks start to break away,” he said. “So you just got to go out there just like every single night.”

THE TALK OF HOCKEYTOWN: The forward line of Valtteri Filppula, Henrik Zetterberg and Todd Bertuzzi has been dynamite at a crucial point in the season, combining for 20 points in three games.

The line’s production has been key to capturing points. Bertuzzi’s 6-foot-3, 225-pound frame has been making Tomas Holmstrom-like traffic in front of the net, giving Filppula and Zetterberg more room to work with the puck.

“(Bertuzzi) is great in front, it’s tough to move him,” Filppula said. “It gives more room outside too. So you always know you can just throw it in the front and Bert’s going to be there, so it’s a really huge thing for the line.”

What makes Babcock happy is the fact that the second forward line of Pavel Datsyuk, Johan Franzen and Holmstrom didn’t have any points in Wednesday’s win; yet the team as a whole is still skated away with two points.

“That didn’t happen early,” Babcock said. “So you can spread it around a little bit more, and that makes you a better team.”

PENALTY KILL STILL SURGING: A turning point Wednesday was killing off a high-sticking double minor given to defenseman Brad Stuart at the 11:29 mark of the second. The Blues didn’t get many quality chances in their four-minute power play.

“It was really, really big for us,” Filppula said. “I think it always gives a lot of energy too when you come out of that, and I don’t think we gave them too many really good chances. And obviously Howie played really well in net, so that was a huge key in this game.”

Wednesday was the 10th consecutive game the Wings have not allowed a power play goal. They have killed 28 consecutive power plays, and 56 of their last 59.




1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54


H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38 is the official Web site of the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit Red Wings and are trademarks of the Detroit Red Wings. NHL, the NHL Shield and the word mark NHL Winter Classic are registered trademarks and Original Six is a trademark of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Detroit Red Wings and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.
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