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Howard: 'This is the best I've felt'

Red Wings' goalie looks to bounce back from a disappointing season

Wednesday, 09.3.2014 / 3:59 PM ET / News
By Craig Peterson  - Editorial Assistant | DetroitRedWings.com
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Howard: \'This is the best I\'ve felt\'

Jimmy Howard
Goalie  - DET
Record: 21-19-11
GAA: 2.66 | Sv%: .910
DETROIT – Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard is healthy following an off-season spent in Michigan with his wife and two young sons, which is a good sign for coach Mike Babcock after a tough 2013-14 campaign.

“The reports I get on Howie is on how much work he’s done. You do the work, you’re rewarded,” Babcock said. “He’s done the work to prepare, he’ll be rewarded.”

Howard said the offseason was no different than past summers, but with a lockout-shortened season two years ago, and the Olympics in addition to conference realignment last season it made for a lot of hockey in a short span. Some much needed time off allowed for Howard to heal up in the summertime.

“This is the best I’ve felt in two to three years,” Howard said after a voluntary captain’s skate at Joe Louis Arena on Wednesday. “I’m excited to get going.”

Howard’s health is good news following a season in which he dealt with lingering knee issues that sidelined him for multiple weeks in December and again in January. Just one of the many injuries that struck the team last year.

“It’s been weird the last several years, the way we’ve been hit with the injury bug,” Howard said. “I think that’s why it’s a key to the season for all of us, especially our top guys of staying out there on the ice.”

Howard would certainly like to improve from last season’s numbers in which he posted a .910 save percentage and 2.66 goals-against average. Marks that should be attainable if he can start the season strong.

“The reason you talk about the start is because confidence is a fleeting thing,” Babcock said. “If you’re a goalie after 10 games your numbers are pretty good, it’s way easier to relax.”

A short memory is key for a goaltender and Howard won’t let last year’s performance hinder him in the months that follow.

“Each year is different, you just have to go out there and play,” he said. “You have to control what you can control and I think I’ve done that this offseason.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 50 37 9 4 163 112 78
2 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
7 PIT 51 26 18 7 132 130 59
8 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
9 NYI 50 26 18 6 135 126 58
10 CAR 53 24 21 8 129 141 56
11 PHI 50 23 18 9 119 130 55
12 MTL 53 25 24 4 142 142 54
13 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 51 18 19 25 37
H. Zetterberg 52 9 25 2 34
T. Tatar 51 15 17 -2 32
G. Nyquist 52 14 15 -2 29
J. Abdelkader 52 14 12 -4 26
P. Datsyuk 37 6 20 11 26
M. Green 46 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 38 5 10 6 15
D. DeKeyser 48 6 8 12 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 19 10 4 .932 2.03
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89