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.”
- Devils’ Gomez considered retirement 5
- It’s New Jersey Devils day on PHT 16
- Fanspeak: Bobby Orr named best Bruin in franchise history 25
- Video: Bruins participate in commercials to promote NHL 15 6
- Oilers ink Schultz to one-year deal 2
- It’s Boston Bruins day on PHT 41
- Fanspeak: Dominik Hasek voted greatest Sabre in franchise history 35
- Is Colorado’s rise a fair example of what might happen in Buffalo? 7
- It’s Buffalo Sabres day on PHT 19
- Gomez goes full circle by rejoining Devils on tryout basis 13