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Abel to Yzerman

Jim Howard’s Getting Shafted And We Dig It

We dig it because we’re Red Wing fans and this is what we’ve become used to. We dig this, Howard’s absence from the All Star ballot for the second year in a row, because it’s further proof of something we’ve been telling the rest of you for years: the NHL is a barnyard joke.

Your nominees, Gary? I’ll show you.


Name two goalies you’d rather have right now, and for the long haul, than Jim Howard.

Of goalies with at least ten starts, Howard is:

Second in GAA (1.66)
Of the nominees, only three have a sub-2.00 GAA.

Third in Save Percentage (.934)
Of the nominees, only Khabibulin and Lehtonen have higher percentages. 

Second in number of Goals Allowed (20 in 12 starts)
Naturally, he leads the league in shutouts with 3. Of the nominees, only three goalies have more than one shutout. And this:


Howard has twice as many wins as All-Star ballot candidates Halak and Brodeur combined.

Like so much else about the NHL, this process is a joke. It’s pathetic, like the game itself and the commissioner who lets it happen.  Jim Howard isn’t one of the best 18 goalies in hockey? Ok.  He’s top 3 is what he is.  Consider what he’s meant to this team this year alone and he’s already earned a start.  But that’s not how this league does business.

The great thing about this is that we actually prefer to see the Wings shut out of Gary’s little popularity contest.  Howard sits? Great. He’s going to be ridden like a Dive fan in prison this year as it is.  But this isn’t about resting this team’s most valuable player (yep…I went there). This particular discussion is about what’s right and what’s consistently wrong.


In my mind, Howard’s the Vezina leader this season, as nobody really believes that Khabby will keep this up.  Yet, he wasn’t even placed on the All-Star ballot, despite the fact that Mr. 89.6 save percentage Roberto Luongo somehow made it.  Hell, now Blues backup Jaro Halek made it with a 88.2 save percentage. 

I don’t really care about the All-Star game, but we need to get the word out there.  Howard’s a star.  He’s elite and deserves to be recognized for it.

Exactly. Howard is a star. He’s playing as well or better than any goalie in hockey.  And he’s been a top five goalie for two years.  But, he’s not even nominated?  What a shitstorm of a pisspot league we live in.  Once again, as always…Gary?

James Reimer is a goalie for Toronto. He’s started six games.  Six.  He’s been nominated to the All Star Game.

If you don’t see this for what it is, then you need to go ahead and suck it.  Here’s an argument you’ll get from people who want to rationalize this bullshit.  They’ll say, well…the Wings have four other nominees (I only know the number and I’m assuming it’s Lidstrom, Datsyuk, Zetterberg and…Franzen?) and every team needs to be represented and what about Minnesota or Columbus or Darren Garcia? Don’t fans of those teams deserve representation?

Yep. And they can stuff the ballot boxes all they want, and they will anyway.  The bottom line is that, again, a Wing goaltender isn’t nominated.  If there’s a reason other than a blatant agenda from the office of the league’s only midget it would be this one:  people are still under the impression that Detroit’s “system” doesn’t require a “great” goaltender.

That’s an Osgoodian argument and it had merit when it applied. But it’s stale now.  Because Jim Howard is elite. He’s stealing games and he’s shutting doors Osgood never consistently closed. 

Oh, I know. Go ahead Wing haters. Go ahead and point to this as just another bitch, another whine from Wing fans about the injustice of being us.  Get this clear, again.  We are not stricken and we are not victims. We don’t feel that way now, nor will we ever.  All we’re doing here, and always, is pointing out the idiocy of a league that continues to abuse itself.

Who’s playing better than Howard? Your goalie, Blues fans?  Really?  How about yours, Devils fans?  Phoenix? Are you going to say something? Vancouver? You’re not allowed to speak.  Just don’t.

Rest him.  Rest him for the long haul and we’re good.  Just don’t try and tell us there are 18 better goalies in the NHL than Jim Howard.  Because there aren’t even three.

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink


Ajax19's avatar

To be honest…  I really don’t care that Howard isn’t on there.  In fact, I’m pretty much ok with it. 

Given how shaky Conklin’s been in net, it looks like Howard will, yet again, get a heavier work load that he should be having.  So, come late January, I’d much rather have Jimmy resting and sunning himself on a beach somewhere than going all out in one of those skills contest or getting lit up during a meangingless exhibition game.

Lidstrom and Dats bowed out this thing for a reason a few years back…

So, I say…. Thanks, Gary!  The Red Wings appreciate your desire to keep Howard fresh for the games that actually mean something.

Posted by Ajax19 on 11/14/11 at 07:28 PM ET

FranzensMouthguard's avatar

and as I tweeted you Chief, Reimer is on longterm IR with something that no one has an idea what it is.

Its a joke, where the MLB gets 9000 Red Sox and Yankees to start all star games, we get the shaft.

10 bucks Cindy starts in this game as well.

Posted by FranzensMouthguard from Chicago, IL on 11/14/11 at 07:33 PM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

Fine form on this one Master Chief - with statistics too.  I guess the basketball game the other night left you a little miffed.  Because we all know that Gary cannot, not anymore - he is nothing but an annoyance.

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 11/14/11 at 07:42 PM ET

Chet's avatar

i think 55 is the other nominee. howard being omitted is a snub. life continues.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 11/14/11 at 07:43 PM ET

BrendonR's avatar

This is a league that puts Rosby on the ballot, when he hasn’t played a game this year.  Same thing happened last year with Mark Streit.  That about sums it up right there.  I still voted though (and added Jimmah as my write-in for the goalie position, even though we’d all rather see him rest).  Still, it was nice to see Kronner get some recognition by the league, to go with that new ‘A’.

Posted by BrendonR on 11/14/11 at 07:45 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

I’m going to take this two steps farther.

First point, we aren’t even a quarter into the season. It is stupid to look at anyone’s stats for a small part of the season and attempt to draw conclusions. If we have to have an ASG, let’s wait till later in the year to name the nominees so the body of work we’re basing it on is more legit.

Second point, who cares about the ASG anyways? How about we just flip the ASG the bird and be done with it.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 11/14/11 at 07:49 PM ET


Amazing that half of you hate the ASG, but then complain when players are left off.

Of course Howards deserves to be there. There’s nothing preventing you from writing him in, either. Why are you all mad?

Posted by Peetie27 from New York on 11/14/11 at 07:57 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I hope to God no Red Wings ever make the All-Star Game again for the next decade or so.

For as much hockey of all types that I’l watch (KHL over XBox comes to mind even), I only ever turn the NHL ASG on for background noise and then never really watch it.

All these other guys can make all the ASG’s they want.  I’ll take the Cups, thanks…

Posted by Primis on 11/14/11 at 08:09 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Why are you all mad?

Posted by Peetie27 from New York on 11/14/11 at 04:57 PM ET

Didn’t you read the title?

Jim Howard’s Getting Shafted And We Dig It

We’re not mad. We’re digging.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 11/14/11 at 08:13 PM ET

SandysWingingit's avatar

You know how the losers at those awards show say, “it’s an honor just being nominated”... I never believed that crap. But is it better than being snubbed altogether? I don’t know. I guess if it was anything but this ridiculous ASG it might matter. But really, who needs that kind of validation? As others have said, in the long run, we win because our goalie gets what’s probably going to be a well-deserved break.

Posted by SandysWingingit on 11/14/11 at 08:15 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Why you heff ta be mad? Jeemy Howard is good goalie.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 11/14/11 at 08:19 PM ET

monkey's avatar

Jimmy Howard will score 70 goals this season.

Posted by monkey from Prague on 11/14/11 at 08:31 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar


Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 11/14/11 at 08:31 PM ET

Chris in Hockey Hell's avatar

“Jimmy Howard will score 70 goals this season”


Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 11/14/11 at 08:33 PM ET

RedMenace's avatar

Why you heff ta be mad? Jeemy Howard is good goalie.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 11/14/11 at 05:19 PM ET

Damn you, making me read that in his voice.

Jimmy Howard will score 70 goals this season.

Posted by monkey from the morel high ground on 11/14/11 at 05:31 PM ET

The Rocket Richard, Norris, AND Cy Young, you say?

Bold predictions, my friend.

Posted by RedMenace from The Lightly Soiled South on 11/14/11 at 08:38 PM ET

IwoCPO's avatar

It’s the principle of the thing for me.  To exclude him from that list of 18 is a farce.  Yes, I hate the All Star game. It’s a joke.  And I have no problem with Howard resting those three days, as I said in the post.  But to keep him off the ballot altogether (for the second year in a row) is beyond stupid.

And it’s obvious.  At least be subtle about it.

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 11/14/11 at 08:58 PM ET


Nick Lidstrom has nineteen seasons under his belt and only 11 all star appearances! I think that pretty much sums up the credibility of the all star voting system.

Posted by From The Hockey Wastelands from Cleveland on 11/14/11 at 09:52 PM ET


After the fiasco with suspensions of Lids and Dats, I also hope that no Wings get to the ASG. 

They need the rest anyway more than the game . . . .

In the end, Detroit players will get stiffed by the league offices so why bother?

Posted by bobbo from Romeo, Michigan on 11/14/11 at 09:54 PM ET

MarkK's avatar

But but but Lidstrom is old… oh wait that argument is inconsistent w/ the Osgoodian argument.

Posted by MarkK from Maryland on 11/14/11 at 10:21 PM ET

Itrusteddrrahmani's avatar

haha, I mean it’s obviously not based on statistics.  Crosby’s on there and he’s played in ummm how many games this year.

Posted by Itrusteddrrahmani from Nyc by way of A2 on 11/14/11 at 10:47 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

It really looks like this list was made over the offseason.  Maybe the interns didn’t have enough to do.  I’m happy for it.  The ASG is a shit show anyway.  I’d rather have no Red Wings in the lineup.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 11/14/11 at 11:31 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

Sadly Chief, I’m only shocked that Jonas Gustavsson was left off the list of goalies.

Please keep up the good work. You appear to be one of just a few writers/bloggers who have the courage to tell the King he has no clothes.

Posted by Down River Dan on 11/14/11 at 11:47 PM ET


The provided link is for last years all-star game not this years, I figured out something was wrong when Rafalski was on the list.

Posted by wingsnut25 on 11/15/11 at 12:11 AM ET

IwoCPO's avatar

The provided link is for last years all-star game not this years,

Yep. Used it to prove Howard’s been boned two years in a row.

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 11/15/11 at 12:14 AM ET

redxblack's avatar

I watch an all start team 82+ games a season. They wear red and white, have a funny looking flying tire on their chest and often finish the season by holding up 35 lbs of shiny metal. And you can bet your ass Howard is on THAT all-star team!

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 11/15/11 at 02:49 AM ET

SYF's avatar

Write-in ballots have never gotten anyone into the Gary.ASSG…ever.  No point in wasting zeroes-and-ones on that fruitless endeavor.

Like many of the other of The 19, I much rather have Jimmy resting up during that stupid dog-and-pony weekend farce.  If the Wings have to send someone, send ‘em Commodore.  I don’t give a faux.

Posted by SYF from Twerkin' with Anastasia Ashley on 11/15/11 at 04:13 AM ET

VooX's avatar

One season Jimmy Howard scored fifty goals in the minors.

One season the 19 at A2Y live blogged a CSI marathon instead of Li’l Gary’s All-Star Game.

One of the previous statements is true, I leave it up to you to decide.

Posted by VooX from Behind the Bar in the Hasek Club Car on 11/15/11 at 05:03 AM ET

WestWing's avatar

Nick Lidstrom has nineteen seasons under his belt and only 11 all star appearances! I think that pretty much sums up the credibility of the all star voting system.

Game. Set. Match. 

I propose that any and all future attempts to rationalize the NHL All-Star game as anything other than a two-bit, back-alley shell game that happens to have bright lights and corporate sponsors shall be referred back to this simple, eloquent nugget of logic.

Posted by WestWing from Portland, Oregon on 11/15/11 at 06:23 AM ET

Lucce's avatar

Why are we suprised? Game on!

Posted by Lucce from Kingdom of Zweden on 11/15/11 at 06:45 AM ET

AndrewFromAnnArbor's avatar

Oh, you Kool-Aid plugging Wings fans are just butthurt because you haven’t got an elite goalie…

Seriously though.  While he deserves recognition for the fact that he’s a better goalie than most of the guys on that list, I’ll take him getting the week’s rest, and the slight haircut in pay that is part of not having ‘All-Star’ after your name (especially considering that one of our All-Stars, being paid like one, is hardly performing like one this year), over the recognition by fans of other teams, whose validation I don’t need or want, any day.  I don’t give a ratsflyingf*ckass about other fans and their opinions, so f*ck ‘em if they can’t see greatness when it’s right in front of their moronic little cotton-wifebeater Keystone Light-drunk eyes.

Let ‘em have their dog & pony show.  We got our eyes on something much greater, with a lot more history and destiny.

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 11/15/11 at 09:06 AM ET

Nate A's avatar

Write-in ballots have never gotten anyone into the Gary.ASSG…ever.  No point in wasting zeroes-and-ones on that fruitless endeavor.

Not true. Remember the Write-in of the Rory Fitzpatrick? Depending on how much tinfoil you’re wearing, he may have actually come in first or second instead of 3rd.

Write-in for Jimmy is great for the sake of recognition he deserves at least to this point and for league mockery’s sake, just make sure you stop when he get’s to 3rd so he doesn’t get suspended when he doesn’t go.

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 11/15/11 at 12:49 PM ET


Wasn’t Datsyuk a write-in all star the first time he was elected to the game?

Posted by Kyle on 11/15/11 at 03:29 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

What a Friggin. Again.  What else would we expect from Gary.Ass.

Posted by RWBill from lead guitarist for The Pompous Dicks. on 11/15/11 at 05:08 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

I say let’s all write in Crosby for goaltender.

Posted by MsRedWinger from the State where Tigers roam in the Spring on 11/15/11 at 07:25 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