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Howard looks to rebound after rough season

Jul 27, 2014, 10:06 AM EDT

howardjimmygetty Getty Images

The Detroit Red Wings weren’t able to make any significant upgrades over the summer, so if they’re going to improve in 2014-15, it will have to be by getting more from what’s already in their organization.

Part of that will come from the natural development of their young players, but they also have some veterans that are expected to improve on their 2013-14 showings. One example of that is goaltender Jimmy Howard, who went from posting a 2.13 GAA and .923 save percentage in 42 games during the 2013 shortened campaign to a 2.66 GAA and .910 save percentage in 51 contests last season.

“I can be a lot better, a lot more consistent,” Howard told the Detroit News. He also admitted that it was by no means a good season for him.

It’s worth noting that Howard had to deal with knee problems and a hip flexor injury last season and those issues occasionally forced him to the sidelines.

Detroit tied its fate to Howard when he was signed to a six-year, $31.75 million contract. That deal won’t expire until the summer of 2019, so if Howard doesn’t bounce back, it would be a big problem for the Red Wings. If he stays healthy, the Red Wings are expecting Howard to play in a minimum of 60 games.

  1. jmcurran28 - Jul 27, 2014 at 10:53 AM

    Not a good season indeed. #5 isn’t out there to save our goalies anymore, goaltending needs to be more consistent. The “Monster” was huge for us last year and I felt a lot more confident with him in net than Jimmy most of the time.

  2. redwings4013 - Jul 27, 2014 at 12:30 PM

    Idk

  3. redwings4013 - Jul 27, 2014 at 12:36 PM

    Personally I love the guy he’s my favourite goalie in the league but I didn’t think we could win with him sometimes I loved the monster he really steped up last year and now I think he does deserve that contract. Thank god dekeyser played well last year when jimmy was in he played amazing last year. As much as I don’t want it to happen I think if Howard has another bad year this year he’s gonna be gone.

    • mcphillthy - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:09 PM

      If he has another bad season I don’t know how you would get rid of him with that monster contract. 5m on a goalie who isn’t a legit #1 will be hard to move.
      I feel your pain, though. My flyers lost bobrovski and kept bryz…. It still hurts

  4. pwshrugged - Jul 27, 2014 at 12:57 PM

    I don’t know, maybe if the defense didn’t turn pucks over right in front of the net, he’d have better numbers.

    • polegojim - Jul 29, 2014 at 12:11 AM

      Too many soft goals to use this excuse. Many times, by allowing easy goals, Jimmy caused the Wing to have to push and be aggressive, leading to turnovers.

      No excuses, play better. Period.

      • pwshrugged - Jul 29, 2014 at 8:54 AM

        I agree that he let in some softies, but every goalie does from time to time.

        But if you take away those turnovers in the defensive zone, Jimmy is over .920 SV% and has twice as many shutouts, and no one is having this conversation.

        But those are the signs of a young team. They’ll be better this year.

  5. 101starmymedic - Jul 27, 2014 at 2:40 PM

    Monster should be playing instead of Howard. Statistics don’t lie.
    Howard sucked last year, Monster bailed him out. We would not have made it anywhere near the playoffs had it not been for Gus & Gus.

  6. redwings4013 - Jul 27, 2014 at 4:35 PM

    Ya ur kinda right but think of a team like Winnipeg with room to get some people maybe trade evander for Howard so they could get a goalie better then pavelac idk I just hope we can keep him as our franchise goalie I love the guy just he needs to step up u can’t have a former leafs goalie take your spot from you for 2 seasons in a row unless his name is cujo or bernier (who has surprisingly been stellar so far.)

  7. 13datsyuk13 - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:26 AM

    PWS just nailed it! We’re looking at you Smith.

  8. Simon Says Sport - Jul 28, 2014 at 9:40 AM

    Multiple issues here.. If Howard keeps having injuries then he’s done and shouldne be a #1 for us. Secondly, it ties our hands if that happens because of the cap hit (add charity case Cleary and Quincey) and we are already in a bad spot.. And thirdly, and more importantly we won’t win a cup with Howard in goal especially when our back-up “Monsta” had better stats and played more consistent net-minding than Howard.

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