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Save of the Night – Jimmy Howard (April 2)

Apr 3, 2011, 11:00 AM EDT

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Jimmy Howard, Sergei Kostitsyn AP

Aside from the occasional night off – or the even less common instance when a save or goal isn’t deemed worthy – the gang at PHT will decide which tally or stop is the best of any given night. Once those two winners are determined, we’ll share our reasoning (and most importantly, the video clip for each) in posts for your viewing pleasure.

It’s hard to argue with the idea that the Detroit Red Wings might be the gold standard of professional sports teams. Sure, the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Lakers are up there, but there seems to be a lack of deftness to their success. The Yankees buy the majority of their talent; the Lakers regularly receive trade-for-Pau-Gasol type “lucky breaks.” Maybe the Red Wings were a bit like those teams before the lockout, but since then, they’ve had to play under the same salary cap parameters as everyone else.

Yet they still stand hand and shoulders above every other NHL franchise.

Jimmy Howard‘s slow but steady development is a great example of why the Red Wings are strides ahead of everyone else. He earned his 35th win of the 2010-11 season as Detroit came back from a 3-0 deficit to clinch their 20th consecutive playoff berth by beating the Nashville Predators in OT. It’s possible they wouldn’t have won the game if Howard didn’t make this beautiful save, the best of April 2nd … and maybe one of the best of the season.

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