Jimmy Howard’s spectacular 34 save performance on Friday night should tell Red Wing fans all they need to know about his long term future as a Red Wing. He’s a clutch performer!
Time and time again Howard’s teammates tried to give the game away last night and each time he needed to answer, he did.
It’s wasn’t a typical “stand on your head” performance, but it was a clutch effort when the Red Wings needed it most. He did the same thing in game #4 only to lose in OT.
There was a lot of bitching when Howard signed his 6 year $30 million contract, but it was the right move. The Red Wings have nailed down the Goalie position for the long-term and it is in good hands with Jimmy Howard. He is entering the prime of his career and will stabilize the team as they develop into another Stanley Cup contender.
In his first three full seasons with the Red Wings, Howard has racked up at least 35 wins and a save percentage of at least .908 each season.
Last season, he had a GAA of 2.12 and a save percentage of .920. He was in the running for the Vezina trophy until a late-season injury derailed any hopes of capturing that title.
I”m putting my money on Howard Sunday night! You?
Red Wing fans are funny, they love the hockey team but they never expect the team to ever go through a “reloading” process. It is safe to say there is no patience in Hockeytown.
Being one step removed from it, I think the future looks bright for the Red Wings. A team that lost Nick Lidstrom to retirement after last season is sure to take a step back, but what I am seeing is a good young core of players that in short order will compete for Stanley Cups.
Gustav Nyquist, Damien Brunner, Brendan Smith and Danny Dekeyser are all very good hockey players who will take this team over in a few years, right now they are making rookie mistakes and coming up big. That is why they call them “kids.” They are learning quickly and the fact that Nyquist (23) and Brunner (rookie) are coming up big in a tight playoff series should give Red Wings fans a reason for optimism.
All the complaining about barely making the playoffs is valid, but at some point the Red Wings had to infuse this team with young talent. Mistakes and tense moments are a part of playing kids, but you can’t have the good without the bad.
The current Red Wing team reminds me a lot of the young guys learning to win in the early 90’s. Talented, but young. Red Wing fans are just too use to winning, they seem to have forgotten how the process works. First you find talent, then you teach them how to win, there really aren’t any shortcuts to a Stanley Cup Championship.
If this year is a “rebuild” for the Wings, I’ll take it all day! Win or lose to Anaheim.