The Malik Report
by George Malik on 08/16/13 at 07:40 PM ET
The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan duly noted that Jimmy Howard will probably have a little extra motivation to perform well for the Red Wings over the first third of the season--Howard's NHL performance will likely determine whether he heads to Sochi with the U.S. Olympic team--and the Bangor Daily News's Larry Mahoney spoke with Howard about his Olympic hopes on Friday evening.
Howard's got a stiff task ahead of him in attempting to un-seat Ryan Miller and Jonathan Quick while also competing against Corey Schneider and Craig Anderson, but Howard believes that he can accomplish the task:
“It’s a great honor to be on the radar,” said the 29-year-old Howard, who has a home in Dedham on Green Lake but has spent most of his summer working out in Detroit. “There’s a lot of great goalies on the list. It’s going to be tough. It’s going to be a challenge.”
Howard is coming off a season in which he went 21-13-7 with a 2.13 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage. He was 7-7 with a 2.44 GAA and a .924 save percentage in the Stanley Cup playoffs as the Red Wings were ousted in seven games by the eventual Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference semifinals. The 2012 NHL All-Star has represented his country three times previously: the Under-18 World Championships, the World Junior Championships and the World Championships.
“Every time you put on the [United States] uniform, it changes you. You go from representing your organization to representing your country,” said Howard. “You want to perform your best for your country.”
The team will be picked based on how they perform during the regular season.
“I’m confident, but I don’t have a crystal ball. We’ll see how the season goes,” said Howard. “One of my goals this season is to be in Sochi in February. As long as I go out there and play the way I’m capable of playing, hopefully they’ll want to pick me.”
He said the lure of the Winter Olympics won’t put any added pressure on him.
“The three hardest jobs in Detroit are being the Red Wings goalie, the Lions’ quarterback and the Tigers’ closer,” chuckled Howard. “For me, it’s just about going out there, performing and having fun.”
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.