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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\'
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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 - 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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