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Red Wings’ Jimmy Howard talks about desire to prove himself in the playoffs (and McCrimmon!)

Yahoo Sports’ Nicholas J. Cotsonika provides a slightly roundabout way to wrap up today’s pre-Red Wings-Blackhawks game stories by very specifically spelling out where the Red Wings’ go-to playoff goalie spent his Saturday night…

Late Saturday night, after leaving in the third period of a 4-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs, Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard had an MRI exam at the Detroit Medical Center. Howard lay in a coffin-like tube with a sore left shoulder. For about 45 minutes, he had nothing to do but listen to the machine’s loud clack-clack-clacking and worry about what the results of the exam might reveal.

“I was just sitting there, thinking, ‘Please don’t be anything. Please don’t be anything,’ ” Howard said.

Before, via conversations with Howard, his interim replacement, Joey MacDonald, and his mentor, Chris Osgood, revealing the fact that Howard isn’t taking the, “Time is on my side” approach that his eventual netminding partner, Tom McCollum, has adapted. Instead, Cotsonika reveals, the fact that Howard spent the portion of his 27th birthday usually dedicated to revelry in an MRI machine got him thinking about his almost desperate desire to prove that he can deliver for Red Wings fans, and his teammates, come playoff time:

“I would have liked to have been here a lot sooner, but it took me a little bit longer to develop and learn the pro schedule and learn how they bring it every single day,” Howard said. “The guys in here bring it every single day. Now that I am here, it’s just, I just want it bad.”

How bad? Howard signed a two-year, $4.5-million extension recently, right before Antti Niemi(notes) got four years, $15.2 million from the Sharks and Craig Anderson got four years, $12.75 million from the Ottawa Senators. He said he doesn’t mind fitting into the Wings’ salary structure because he’s happy in Detroit. He has a chance to win. In his minor-league days, he used to come up to practice in the playoffs. When he talks about what he saw when the Wings won the Cup in 2008, he sounds like a little kid dreaming out loud.

“Watching what the guys went through, and how hard they worked, and how much it all paid off, and how happy people were … just being around all the Cup parties and seeing how the fans and the players were interacting, and how much the fans really loved the guys, you know … it really drove home,” Howard said. “I’d like to do the same thing.”

Perhaps just as interestingly, the Red Wings’ coaches are almost completely off limits to the press, but in coordination with AM 1130 WDFN and the Red Wings’ promotions to celebrate the team’s 20th straight playoff season, Red Wings assistant coach Brad McCrimmon engaged in a lengthy interview with WDFN’s Sean Baligian and Tom “Killer” Kowalski. 

And I want to get this on the record, in bold. If Chris Osgood chooses to retire this summer, it would not surprise me if the Red Wings re-sign Joey MacDonald as their back-up for the 2011-2012 season. He’s proven himself.

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We almost never hear the even-keeled Howard talk about desperation, and we almost never hear from McCrimmon, period, so this day’s produced more than its share of Red Wings-related revelations.

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SYF's avatar

Howard said. “The guys in here bring it every single day. Now that I am here, it’s just, I just want it bad.”

Good.  Now walk the Walk, Jimmah.

Posted by SYF from A tall cool pint of Guinness on 03/28/11 at 08:43 PM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

MacFloppy is not the answer.  He’d make a good towel boy, maybe.

Posted by Hippy Dave from Portland by way of Detroit on 03/30/11 at 06:16 AM ET

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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.