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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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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 - 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

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
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
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38

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