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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 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