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Snow jobs don't bother Howard

Sharks' tactics meant to disrupt goalie's focus

Tuesday, 05.3.2011 / 2:44 PM ET / News
By Michael Caples  - Detroit Red Wings Staff Writer
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Snow jobs don\'t bother Howard\r\n
DETROIT – The Sharks have tried to rattle the Red Wings goalie in this series. And as one famed Canadian analyst sees it, San Jose players have gone to despicable lengths to disrespect Jimmy Howard.

But Howard isn’t going to allow the Sharks, nor the media attention, to become a distraction when the Western Conference semifinals series resumes with Wednesday’s Game 3 at Joe Louis Arena.

“They’re just trying to get under my skin,” Howard said. “I don’t care. They can come in and pitchfork me, snow-shower me. I don’t care.”

Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton are just two Sharks who have given snow-showers to Howard in front of the Wings’ net during Games 1 and 2 at HP Pavilion.

Opposing players have always taken the liberty of covering goalies – most of the time the goalie is in a prone position, covering up a loose puck in the crease – with ice shavings by coming to a hard stop. The cascading snow gets in the goalie’s mask and down his jersey making for an uncomfortable chilly feeling.

Even though such actions are not a punishable offense, by rule, CBC’s Don Cherry calls the Sharks’ tactics, “The ultimate distain.”

“If you ever did it on Grant Fuhr, if you ever did it on Billy Smith, if you ever did it on Gerry Cheevers, you would not finish the game,” continued Cherry, on last Saturday’s “Coach’s Corner” first-intermission segment. “Absolutely ridiculous that you do that. In the old days you would not finish the game if you did that.”

Howard wanted nothing to do with the subject when asked about it following Tuesday’s practice at Joe Louis Arena.

“They can do whatever they want,” he said. “They’re not going to take me off my game.”

Throughout the first two games, Sharks players have charged to the Wings’ crease, and with a quick stop just in front of Howard, their skates send ice up into the air, and into the goaltender’s face and down his jersey.

The lone penalty from the spraying issue came in Game 1, when Howard jumped to his skates and punched Pavelski midway through the second period. Both players were assessed two-minute roughing minors.

Wings coach Mike Babcock said that he has informed his players to look past the Sharks’ attempts, citing that general manager Ken Holland is on the case.

“I told our players today that we have a general manager and he looks after that stuff,” Babcock said. “We have to forget about being distracted, be disciplined and be determined.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
R. Sheahan 81 14 11 -8 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80