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Abel to Yzerman

James F. Howard and The “E” Word

Bob Duff, to my knowledge, is not a pharmacist, doesn’t write for a search engine, hasn’t perfected any type of redolence and doesn’t lift weights before covering a game to get himself “psyched.”  But he did write this, without the aid of Corsi.

Windsor Star

He set new goals from within, challenging himself to take the next step to status among the upper echelon of NHL netminders.

``Coming into this season, I felt like I could take more on in my play, and be more of a game changer,’’ Howard said.

You could put forth the argument that this season, when it comes to NHL puckstoppers, none have proven more effective than Howard, and hardly a dissenting voice would be heard.

And the headline of Duff’s story uses the word “elite”, which is like kerosene around here. Have at it.  As I’ve said, no matter what the 70-word sentence man says, and says again and again. Howard’s top 5.

And since traditional stats aren’t enough to sway the “experts” who can’t stomach the thought of admitting a Detroit goalie is among the league’s best? I’ll offer a few other ditties.  All Howard does is win.  A lot. Under fire.

—F’ing Howard has 1 overtime loss this season.  One.  That’s the fewest in the league.  Johnathan Quick? He’s lost 8 of them. Lundqvist? 4. Mike Smith, Josh Harding, Rinne, Luongo?  All with at least 3.

—When the Wings are outshot, Howard doesn’t care. He digs it.  And he wins almost 70 percent of those games too (.667).  When the Kings are outshot? Johnny Vezina gets a little shakey, to the tune of a .444 winning percentage. The other guy who’s supposed to start in front of Howard at the Olympics in ‘14, Miller?  He’s at .440.  NYR, St. Louis, Minnesota…all teams with supposedly “elite” goaltenders win far less than the Wings do when outshot.

So suck on those two nuggets for a while.  Little Dwarf Ass Clown Bend Us Over To The Tune of a Lockout The Year We’re Supposed To Host the Classic You Butthole Gary finally let JFH into the barn for the All Star circle jerk but it was too little, too late.  Bias is bias bitches, whether it’s searchable on Yahoo, sortable via Corsi or just plain due to good old fashioned Wing-jealousy.

 

 

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Comments

VooX's avatar

A lot of stats, Chief, all I know is for the first time in a long time we have an elite goalie, and
that terrifies everyone else.

Posted by VooX from Behind the Bar in the Hasek Club Car on 01/16/12 at 03:45 AM ET

w2j2's avatar

Jimmah / goaltending is now part of Kenny’s “formula” for keeping the Wings at the top of the league.  Who would have guessed that goaltending would be a major pillar of the Wing’s success?

Posted by w2j2 on 01/16/12 at 04:07 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

I have no problem with the people who believe that new-fangled situational stats provide insights into the game that simpler ones don’t describe, but hockey is a game played on ice with a wobbling, wavering vulcanized rubber disc, and in terms of intangibles…

No Corsi numbers will ever convey the difficulty that is being the Detroit Red Wings’ starting goaltender, despite the fact that only Mike Vernon, Chris Osgood and Dominik Hasek are the only goaltenders to have succeeded at delivering playoff wins and Stanley Cup championships at the position over the last 15-or-so years.

It’s incredibly hard for a goaltender to keep his focus when team in front of him absolutely dominates play for 15-45 minutes (sometimes excluding terribly slow starts), but occasionally has catastrophic defensive breakdowns and gives up half a dozen shots, 2-on-1’s, breakaways or simply lets the opposing team cycle and circle and find open players lurking in the slot for one-timers that usually find their way into open nets, with the Wings’ goaltender expected to stop the vast majority of those shots, then watch the Wings return to playing at the other end of the rink for another half a period, with one or two defensive hiccups and point-blank opportunities to stop in between.

We know that Curtis Joseph and Manny Legace couldn’t hack it when it counted; we forget that everybody from Norm Maracle, Kevin Hodson, Kenny Wregget and, to some extent, Osgood, Ty Conklin, Joey MacDonald, who had to leave Detroit and return to re-learn how to get the job done on an as-needed basis.

Jimmy Howard’s working his way into an exclusive club, and that accomplishment cannot be overstated. He’s doing something frickin’ remarkable.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 01/16/12 at 04:59 AM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

And to think there were probably 18, possibly even 19 of us who thought we were doomed when Howard came up full time 3 years ago.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 01/16/12 at 05:34 AM ET

SYF's avatar

Vernon used to say that, “At the end of the game, the most satisfying thing in the world is being on the ice and is ahead on the scoreboard at 00:00.”

Ozzie gets it and you bet your wobbly pucks Jimmy gets it, too.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 01/16/12 at 05:37 AM ET

RorSchach's avatar

I knew there was something special with this Howard kid when he was coming up.. His little flashes of brilliance… but didn’t think he’d hack it in the playoffs. This year.. Dude is a monster. And he’ll only get better. The league is terrified.

Posted by RorSchach from Datsberg on 01/16/12 at 07:27 AM ET

Avatar

I have to admit. I was not did on Howard as late as last year. And I wasn’t sure of his deal. Now, even though out was 2 years, it was a steal.

Posted by teldar on 01/16/12 at 11:06 AM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

Yeah, it’s funny how Howard scared a lot of us.  I remember people saying we were doomed if Holland went with him.  But he more than rose to the occasion, and now he’s scary good.  And how wonderful that is.  James F. Tiberius Howard (I love this name, Chief) is the real deal.

LGRW!!!!!

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 01/16/12 at 11:24 AM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

Little Dwarf Ass Clown Bend Us Over To The Tune of a Lockout The Year We’re Supposed To Host the Classic You Butthole Gary

Classic.

Smooth seas, Sailor.

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 01/16/12 at 11:56 AM ET

42jeff's avatar

It’s incredibly hard for a goaltender to keep his focus when team in front of him absolutely dominates play for 15-45 minutes (sometimes excluding terribly slow starts), but occasionally has catastrophic defensive breakdowns and gives up half a dozen shots, 2-on-1’s, breakaways or simply lets the opposing team cycle and circle and find open players lurking in the slot for one-timers that usually find their way into open nets, with the Wings’ goaltender expected to stop the vast majority of those shots, then watch the Wings return to playing at the other end of the rink for another half a period, with one or two defensive hiccups and point-blank opportunities to stop in between.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 01/16/12 at 01:59 AM ET

I see what you did there.

For the record…it’s 114 words…

Posted by 42jeff from The greater Howard City, MI metroplex on 01/16/12 at 12:10 PM ET

w2j2's avatar

I doubt that Howard would have succeeded on another team.

The major reason for Jimmah’s success is the way Holland keeps guys in the minor leagues until they are “over ripe”.
He allows guys to make mistakes, struggle and work on / solidify their game outside the pressure of the big show.

How can we measure the success of Holland’s training strategy?

I don’t know how you put a number to it, but I think we have seen it work with virtually all the Wings, including Datsyuk, Franzen, Zetterberg, Kronwall ...etc.

In Kenny we trust!

Posted by w2j2 on 01/16/12 at 12:52 PM ET

pgoody's avatar

He gets it done for me in NHL 12 online, 29-2-1, 1.74 GAA, .967 save %

....elite

Posted by pgoody on 01/16/12 at 01:16 PM ET

joedaiceman's avatar

Only the Chief can put into truly satisfying words the way all of the 19 feel about Bettman !!

Posted by joedaiceman on 01/16/12 at 01:19 PM ET

Rumbear's avatar

Stay on your side of the sandbox little guy.

Awesome bitchslap there Chief!

Posted by Rumbear from Top O the Hasek, hanging with Dan Cleary.... on 01/16/12 at 03:04 PM ET

VooX's avatar

Stay on your side of the sandbox little guy.
Awesome bitchslap there Chief!
Posted by Rumbear from Top o da Hasek, holding a dish for NBCSN on 01/16/12 at 12:04 PM ET

IIRC, TheLinkGoesHere tried to induce the Chief into a $10 bet if Jimmah Howard would be named an all-star.  Of course, when he didn’t get the response he wanted from the Chief, he deleted the entire series of comments.

Posted by VooX from Behind the Bar in the Hasek Club Car on 01/16/12 at 03:25 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

Not attacking our little friend who does all the funny stuff with numbers, but being the old timer that I am, I remember when all the sabermetrics stuff became popular back in the 80’s. There was a guy named Bill James who did the whole numbers thing with baseball. This guy would come on local sports radio and “explain” using all these statistics why Alan Trammel & Lou Whitaker were not among the best S.S. & 2nd basemen in baseball. I always thought Bill James was full of hot air back then and I have similar feelings now toward the stat geeks who claim to know who the “elite” players are in hockey. My suspicion is that these guys were always picked last on their teams growing up or never played sports at all.

Posted by Down River Dan on 01/16/12 at 04:46 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

And to think there were probably 18, possibly even 19 of us who thought we were doomed when Howard came up full time 3 years ago.

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 01/16/12 at 02:34 AM ET

I was one of the doubters. I was wrong. J.H. gives the Wings a chance to win every time he is in between the pipes.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 01/16/12 at 05:06 PM ET

Guilherme's avatar

-Howard is giving us reasons to ask, in April, “who will start in the playoffs?”;

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 11/30/09 at 10:34 AM ET

First!

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 01/16/12 at 05:59 PM ET

calquake's avatar

. My suspicion is that these guys were always picked last on their teams growing up or never played sports at all.

Posted by Down River Dan on 01/16/12 at 01:46 PM ET

You are right Dan… we always needed someone to chase the balls down that were hit over the fence.

Posted by calquake on 01/16/12 at 08:51 PM ET

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About Abel to Yzerman

Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com