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Jimmy Howard lucky to have Chris Osgood behind him

Apr 13, 2010, 8:30 AM EDT

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OsgoodHoward.jpgThe Detroit Red Wings know how to win. They’ve been doing it for 20
years, with different coaches and different players and the formula is
almost always the sam
e; great defense, incredible skill up forward,
tenacity and crispness and solid, veteran goaltending.

This season the Wings have strayed from the formula a bit.

Detroit will head into the post season with Calder and Vezina Trophy
hopeful Jimmy Howard in net, the rookie goaltender who has done much
more than just be a solid force in net. All season long he’s been the
glue that has held the team together, putting them on his shoulders when
injuries threatened to keep the team out of the playoffs.

For Howard, it’s a brand new experience with a ton of pressure.
Lucky, he has Chris Osgood to help him out. From Ansar
Khan of MLive.com:

“He’s always the same, he’s on an even keel, he doesn’t
get too upset or too rattled,” Osgood said. “He kind of has the same
demeanor I do, pretty relaxed, just goes and plays. He’s confident.
When you have those things and work hard good, things will happen.”

“I
don’t know how he does it, but he can tell when I’m a little tense and
he’ll always come up with a one-liner that will make me laugh,”
Howard said. “In the playoffs, I’m sure it’ll be no different.”

Never before has Detroit entered the playoffs with such inexperience
in net, and it’s an incredible thing to have such an accomplished backup
behind him. How many teams can boast the ability that if, they’re
starting goaltender falters, they have a two-time Stanley Cup winner
ready to step up?

Nevermind the fact that he’s been wholly
mediocre this season; it’s still a luxury everyone would love to have.

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