Aug 1, 2013, 12:24 PM EDT
Red Wings day on PHT continues…
The question we’re asking here will partly depend upon how you define elite. Some reserve that label for the top four or five players in the league; others use it a bit more freely.
What’s not debatable is this: In 230 career starts, Jimmy Howard‘s save percentage is .918. Among active goalies with more than 100 games played, only four have a higher save percentage than that — Roberto Luongo (.919), Pekka Rinne (.920), Henrik Lundqvist (.920), and Tuukka Rask (.927).
By that measure, it’s hard to call Howard anything but elite. Except we all know a player’s reputation is based largely on what he does in the playoffs.
In 42 career postseason starts, Howard also has a .918 save percentage. However, the Red Wings’ inability to advance past the second round while he’s been their number one has kept the 29-year-old somewhat under the radar from a league perspective.
Howard was brilliant for most of the 2013 playoffs; in fact, he was arguably the biggest reason the Wings were able to take a 3-1 series lead on the eventual champion Blackhawks.
“He’s always had confidence, but there’s something different about it now,” said Wings general manager Ken Holland during the Chicago series, per the New York Times. “He’s calmer, more assured. The play comes to him, and he knows what he needs to do.”
Of course, the Wings were unable to oust the ‘Hawks, eventually falling 2-1 in overtime of Game 7 — a game in which Howard was named second star.
Overall, though, it was a successful year for Howard and his club, which many expected to struggle in its first season without legendary defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom.
“You have to have a good goalie to go anywhere in the playoffs,” said Henrik Zetterberg.
“And we have it.”
- Bruins sign three — Hayes, Connolly, and DeFazio 3
- Babcock expects Kadri to be ‘an elite player’ 11
- No expansion bid expected from Kansas City 24
- Leafs sign Matthias — one year, $2.3 million 14
- Report: Kopitar, Kings in ‘early stages of negotiations’ for extension 8
- Arbitration filed: Holtby, Nyquist & Stepan highlight list released by NHLPA 13
- Report: Plotnikov paid $500K to get out of KHL contract 14
- Philadelphia signs ’15 first rounder Provorov 12
- Brandon Saad brings championship experience to Blue Jackets 22
- Sharks sign Joel Ward to three-year deal 25
- Blockbuster: Kessel traded to the Penguins (131)
- Trade: Flyers send Rinaldo to Bruins for 2017 third-rounder (105)
- Trade: Jackets land Saad; Anisimov and Dano headed to Chicago (93)
- Bypassing a buyout? Kings terminate Richards’ contract for ‘material breach’ (90)
- Sabres lock up O’Reilly through 2022-23 (74)