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Howard irate about increased goalie contact

Dec 23, 2011, 12:41 PM EDT

Corey Perry, Jimmy Howard Getty Images

Even though he was given the night off against Calgary on Thursday, Detroit’s Jimmy Howard was still in a combative mood.

In speaking with, the Wings goalie re-iterated his frustration with what he perceives as increased contact this year. His boiling point came during Wednesday’s 4-2 loss to Vancouver when he was bowled over by Jannik Hansen, rendering Howard unable to save Alex Edler‘s insurance marker.

“I’m just sick and tired of getting run over,” Howard said after the Canucks game. “It’s every single game.”

On Thursday, Howard further explained his stance.

“In that situation, it could have been [called] incidental contact and faceoff goes outside [the zone],” he said. “Simple as that.”

Howard then went on to say goalies shouldn’t be put at risk for injury, yet doesn’t object to players driving hard to the net.

“As a goalie, you want to be able to do your job, make saves for your team,” he said. “Sometimes, to make the save, you have to put yourself in a vulnerable position, and the last thing you want to do is ring your head off of one of the posts.

“But, I’m a tough guy and I have no problem with guys going toward the net and trying to create scoring opportunities.”

Howard’s comments are newsworthy given heightened sensitivity to goalies getting run over. Ryan Miller and Al Montoya have both been knocked out of action after colliding with opposing forwards — Miller’s coach, Lindy Ruff, went to far as to say it’s “open season” on netminders this year.

For Howard, though, there may be another side to the story. He currently leads the NHL in wins (20), sits fifth in GAA (1.99) and 12th in save percentage (.925) — so, could opposing teams be trying to rattle him in what’s been the best start of his career?

“Oh, yeah, probably, most definitely,” Howard said. “But that stuff really isn’t going to take me off my game.”

  1. jpelle82 - Dec 23, 2011 at 3:20 PM

    you have on more pads than anyone else on the ice and stand in front of 100 mph slapshots but you whine about being bumped every once in a while? blame your defensemen. “But that stuff really isn’t going to take me off my game.” yeah ok then why are you whining? i bet you would shut up if you got kronwalled one good time and realized you have it made in your little bubble.

    • tastybasslines - Dec 23, 2011 at 4:03 PM

      They are the only stationary players on the ice. Guys hitting goalies on purpose as they skate through the crease are cowards.

    • gekkoguy82 - Dec 23, 2011 at 7:10 PM

      Goaltenders’ equipment is not designed to protect them from bodily contact. It grants protection from physical contact to a degree, but it’s not there to absorb the shock of someone steamrolling you. Especially the masks; they deflect pucks, not people.

  2. danphipps01 - Dec 23, 2011 at 4:12 PM

    Again I’ll say it: Ryan Miller, take note of the GOOD way to raise objections over this issue. Is he whining about “open season” or demanding suspensions? No. He says he’s sick of getting run – which he has several times now this season – and that if a guy accidentally runs him over, play should be stopped and taken outside the zone. No “Suspend him, string him up!” Not even a penalty. Accidents happen, but you just shouldn’t get a free goal out of them while the goalie’s getting buried. And that’s entirely fair. This is the kind of objection I can actually respect. No whining, just calling it like it is. Good man.

  3. Jeff - Dec 24, 2011 at 7:04 AM

    Agree a 100 percent with Howard.
    And he’s definitely right about the goal the shouldn’t have been. In fact league offices the next day said the refs made the wrong call.
    The story here should reflect that.

  4. politicalgraffiti - Dec 24, 2011 at 10:37 AM

    Refs are quick to protect the likes of Cindy Crybaby, but Goalies are open season. You can win without a prima donna forward, but you can’t win without a good goalie.

  5. sasnyd88 - Jan 20, 2012 at 2:40 PM


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