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Jimmy Howard earning respect

May 23, 2013, 3:49 PM EDT

Jimmy Howard Getty Images

Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg couldn’t have put it any better when talking about Jimmy Howard.

“You have to have a good goalie to go anywhere in the playoffs and we have it,” said Zetterberg.

Howard — a 29-year-old that, in conversation at least, has never quite ascended into the elite category among NHL netminders — was brilliant in Games 2 and 3 versus the favored Blackhawks.

Howard stopped all but two of Chicago’s 60 combined shots in those two games, both Detroit victories, good for a save percentage of .967.

His save percentage in the playoffs is .923.

“He’s always had confidence, but there’s something different about it now,” said Wings general manager Ken Holland, per the New York Times. “He’s calmer, more assured. The play comes to him, and he knows what he needs to do.”

If Detroit sends Chicago packing, will Howard finally get the respect his teammates feel he deserves?

“I do hear some things at times about goalies in our city,” Zetterberg said. “I don’t know if it is a tradition here that you’re not really believing in your goaltending, but I don’t know what he needs to do to get people believing in him.

“We in here know he’s a really good goalie; it’s been shown.”

  1. shoobiedoobin - May 23, 2013 at 3:52 PM

    Watch him game in/game out, you’ll think he’s elite. If you don’t, you don’t know goaltending. He’s much like Jonathan Quick, but Quick had a team that helped him enough last year and Howard didn’t. None of this crap about goalies carrying teams, that doesn’t actually ever happen unless you’re Dominik Hasek.

    • mainevent7567 - May 23, 2013 at 5:30 PM

      Oh, the Dominator. Buffalo misses you :[

  2. ripaslapper - May 23, 2013 at 4:46 PM

    Jimmy has played incredible for Detroit both playoff rounds. He has an intensity and focus about him that bodes well for Detroit’s playoff hopes. Anyone who doesn’t respect the job he’s doing for his team has lost their mind, plain and simple. Jimmy Howard is a huge reason why Detroit is in the 2nd round and giving the Hawks a run for their money. Ken Holland did the team a huge favor by signing him long term.

  3. barnesaintnoble - May 23, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    I think Howard has always been a good goalie; Win or lose this series, his confidence and instincts will get a boost from his recent play and take him to the next level. He’s had some games where he played well, but one period has had a few hiccups to let the opposition back into it. At first glance, most put it all on the goalie, but once you realize the Wings are playing some young guys out there you get the whole story. The fact that these younger players are finally “getting it” for the Wings is not good news for the Blackhawks or any other team left in the playoffs.

  4. sjsharks86 - May 23, 2013 at 5:03 PM

    I’ve been saying it for a couple years now, Howard is the most overlooked, underrated goalie in the league.

  5. CowboyErik - May 23, 2013 at 6:04 PM

    The Great One! Must go all the way! Will need help! Win for Hockey town!!! And talk to the owners about paying their real estate taxes please!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. toddytd - May 23, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    I wont get carried away and say Howard is elite but with a good enough team he is a good enough goalie to win it with.

    • 19wasthebest - May 23, 2013 at 8:13 PM

      Jimmy IS an elite goaltender. Yes he gives a bad one up every now and then but so did Patrick Roy and so does Martin Broder. And they are 2 of the greatest of all time. Howard does not get the credit & or respect that he deserves. I was very skeptical of if he had what it takes his 1st season but I saw something I did not see in any GR Griffins games that I seen. I watch every game. He does not have the defense that Ozzy had.(Ozzy never got the credit he deserved either). He has what it takes win or lose this series. I hope the Wings win but I also know they are not supposed to. But I did say after the Ducks series that if they play the way they can they can win.

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