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James Howard

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I think that James Howard will be the wings next goalie. He has been very promising for The U of Maine these past few seasons. Who do you guys think will be the next goalie?

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Bwahahaha. This is a topic I should not be started on because I don't know where to stop.

Okay, here goes. I'm S-O-L-D on this kid. I never thought we'd land him at 64th overall in the 2003 draft but that was a very deep draft and we got lucky. He was sensational with the US NTDP team playing in Ann Arbor. What stands out from that time is his fantastic performance with the US U-18 team, which went on to win the gold with him.

He came to Maine and had a solid start to his freshman year but seemed to slow down as the year went by. In his sophomore year he blew the field open and set all sorts of NCAA records, which includes a best .956 SVV and 1.19 GAA. In the Hockey East Championship Game against UMASS he recorded 63 saves, 19 of which came in 1st OT as the Maine Black Bears won 2-1 in triple OT. Jimmy was named MVP of the tournament. In the NCAA frozen four final, the Black Bears fell to Colorado College 1-0 but Jimmy had played a big part in them getting to the finals with 8-straight 1-goal game wins. During those entire playoffs he was like this ninja-goalie coming up with 1 great save after another. I remember watching these thrilling games on FSNNY and ESPN2 with my hands over my eyes.

This season, which is his junior year at Maine has been a rollercoaster. Maine has suffered with some graduating seniors and Jimmy was injured earlier in the season. But ever since he's been back he's been great. He's recorded 5 shutouts so far this season. He recorded an unbeaten January with a 4-0-3 record, 2 shutouts and 1.24 GAA. He was named Hockey East goalie of the month. Everytime he makes a big save at home games, the Black Bears band plays Unbelieavable by EMF.

This weekend Maine played UNH, which is a top-offensive school, not to mention a big Maine rival. Maine won the Friday game 3-1 and Jimmy recorded 28 saves. They lost 2-1 on Saturday and Jimmy had 30 saves.

Last weekend they played NorthEastern, and I mention this because in the 2nd game the teams tied 2-2. At one point, ALL the NorthEastern guys on the ice got near the net and started whacking at Jimmy. 2 sat on him as the tying goal was scored. So Jimmy got up and whacked the guy who had been smacking at him. He's the calmest guy on the ice but he doesn't let people run all over him. After the game he pointed to #9 from NE and said a few words to him.

Anyway. Jimmy is rightfully known as the best collegiate goalie in the country. Patrick Eaves might be the front runner for the Hobey Baker right now but a big February could push Jimmy right up there with him. There would've been much more hype around him had he played in the 2003 WJC. He couldn't go because of a freak injury, which occurred when he full on a puck. Montoya played instead of him and the rest is history.

I really, really like this kid. I've been raving about him for a couple of years now. You've got to watch him play, he's just wicked good. His game is so fundementally sound, he's got no holes. He's big, he's athletic, moves well, excellent side-to-side coverage, great personality. He's well loved by coaches and teammates alike and has a bright future. Here's a link to a video from CSTV. It's the last one titled, Last Line of Defense.

If he continues to work on his game and keeps getting better like he has, he can really become the face of our franchise, and maybe even Team USA down the line.

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He's well loved by coaches and teammates alike

I'll agree with ya all the way up till this point. I've talked to a few players on the team. My brother has spoken with the assistant coach. From what I have heard from a few players on the team is Jimmy likes to showboat an attitude. Now be it he;s big sh*t for maine and all. That crap won't fly with the Wings or any other organization.

Again I wanna say I'm totally with you and all on how badass he is, and how the wings totally scored with landing this kid in the draft. But, it sounds like hes got a bit of a chip on his shoulder.

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IMO goalies need to be cocky as hell in order to dominate. Roy and Hasek sure as hell weren't shrinking violets. Brodeur may be understated and calm but he's a cocky bastard as well.

peace

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I'm all for chips on shoulders when it comes to my goalie. If he has a swagger, hell ya, good for him. But from whatever I've read and heard about him, he is absolutely adored by his coaches and teammates. The video I linked is just one example. If he's cocky, he's backing it up, so I've got no issues with it.

On a side note, Jimmy Howard has been named the Hockey East defensive player of the week. He stopped 57 of 60 shots faced last weekend against New Hampshire.

Also, the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston announced Jimmy as one of fifteen NCAA Division I semi-finalists for the fifty-third Walter Brown Award, presented annually to the best American-born college hockey player in New England. Jimmy is one of five players who are repeat nominees for the Walter Brown Award and one of nine nominees from Hockey East.

Complete article here.

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I think it's a little early to hand Howard the starting goalie spot. There's been a lot of studs like Rick Dipietro and Ryan Miller that came out of college who haven't exactly taken the NHL by storm.

I'd like to see him play in the AHL. If he can dominate for a season or two there, then he gets his shot at the bigs.

Edited by Icer

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Icer, absolutely. Jimmy Howard should definitely spend a year or two in the AHL before joining the big boys. But it's good to know we have a solid prospect in the system, a goalie at that.

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But it's good to know we have a solid prospect in the system, a goalie at that.

I'm not giving up on Stefan Liv yet, though his stats from the last few seasons haven't exactly blown me away.

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I'm not giving up on Stefan Liv yet, though his stats from the last few seasons haven't exactly blown me away.

Yeah that kid is way inconsistant. I hope he straightens out because at the very least he could be a valuable trade commodity if he doens't beat out Howard. How he can have a GAA of 2.23 and a Save% of .923 in '03-04 then get 4 shutouts in the SEL finals and then barely crack 3.00 GAA and can't crack .900 save percentage the following season is baffling.

Has he been injured does anyone know? Has the team been dismantled?

peace

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Red Wings Central says he's doing okay as of late.

Goalie Stefan Liv (HV-71, Swedish Elite League) has picked up his game in recent months, and has a 2.91 goals against average and a .894 save percentage in 35 starts ...

Still, nothing very exciting. At this point, I rank Jimmy Howard over Stefan Liv. Howard's going to finish out college and then spend a year or two with the Griffs. Hopefully he keeps up the good form and earns a spot on the Wings. He's a quality kid and we're lucky to have him.

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Yeah that kid is way inconsistant. I hope he straightens out because at the very least he could be a valuable trade commodity if he doens't beat out Howard. How he can have a GAA of 2.23 and a Save% of .923 in '03-04 then get 4 shutouts in the SEL finals and then barely crack 3.00 GAA and can't crack .900 save percentage the following season is baffling.

Has he been injured does anyone know? Has the team been dismantled?

peace

Unlike many SEL teams, HV 71 (Liv's team) does not have a lot of NHL talent this season. Jonathan Cheechoo, Anders Eriksson, and Manny Malhotra are the only NHLers on HV 71's roster. Cheechoo and Malhotra have only played 14 games each, and Eriksson has played in 26. HV 71 has played 44 games. A lack of NHlers could certainly hurt the team's chance for success. Most of the teams at the top of the SEL have at least a few very good NHLers. MODO: Forsberg, Naslund, both Sedins, Adrian Aucoin, Tommy Salo, Mattias Weinhandl (one of the leaders in both goals and points right now.

I don't think he's been injured, though I don't know for sure.

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Unlike many SEL teams, HV 71 (Liv's team) does not have a lot of NHL talent this season.

Well, Liv has to adapt to playing against NHL talent if he wants to make it in the NHL

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Unlike many SEL teams, HV 71 (Liv's team) does not have a lot of NHL talent this season. 

Well, Liv has to adapt to playing against NHL talent if he wants to make it in the NHL

Yes, but he won't have to adapt to playing against NHL talent with an AHL team in front of him.

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Unlike many SEL teams, HV 71 (Liv's team) does not have a lot of NHL talent this season. 

Well, Liv has to adapt to playing against NHL talent if he wants to make it in the NHL

Yes, but he won't have to adapt to playing against NHL talent with an AHL team in front of him.

Liv must adapt to the Northamerican game before anything. That's real tricky for many European goalies. Liv's positional game is weak and that could hurt him since he is likely to face more and faster shots in Northamerica.

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This Week in Hockey East: It Doesn't Get Any Bigger

Some Jimmy Howard bits...

As for Maine, the Black Bears play classic playoff hockey based on one of the top team defenses around. Do you really want your postseason hopes resting on beating Jimmy Howard?

Just how good has Vetri been compared to his counterparts throughout the league?

"One of the things that has been a strength of our team has been that we don't look around," MacDonald says. "we look at each other and try to compete better for each other. Vetri is the same way as Ben Walter and Elias Godoy and all our guys.

"So all I know is that there's one guy in a league all by himself and that's Jimmy Howard. After that, they're all really good and Vetri is right there and now Johnny Yaros is starting to get into that mix."

Big weekend for Maine. Every game is potentially huge for them. And Maine just beat UMass-Lowell 2-0 in the 1st game. 6th shutout of the season for Jimmy - 27 saves.

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Jimmy Howard Named Hockey East Defensive Player Of Week

Maine men's ice hockey junior goalie Jimmy Howard has been named the Hockey East Co-Defensive Player of the Week along with Northeastern's Keni Gibson. Howard (Ogdensburg, N.Y.) stopped 58 of 61 shots faced last weekend against UMass-Lowell as the Black Bears swept the weekend series. On Friday night he stopped all 27 shots faced to notch his sixth shutout of the season. It also marked his ninth career Hockey East shutout, a new league record. Overall, Howard has fifteen career shutouts, which is a Maine record.

thumbup.gif

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Do the Wings still have the rights to him?

Yes. As long as he stays in college we keep his rights, then we sign him to GR and work our way up from there.

peace

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I thought there was a stipulation that if we don't get him signed within a certain period of time, he is free to reenter the draft? I thought it was two years, and seeing how he was drafted in 03, that time table would be almost up. We would have to sign him this summer, which we probably will because I think he is a senior. Am I way off base here?

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I thought there was a stipulation that if we don't get him signed within a certain period of time, he is free to reenter the draft? I thought it was two years, and seeing how he was drafted in 03, that time table would be almost up. We would have to sign him this summer, which we probably will because I think he is a senior. Am I way off base here?

It works a tad bit different for kids that play in college. We can't sign him because it would instantly kill his eligibility to play in the NCAA. Players in college are retained by the team that drafted them until they finish college or leave college.

Mike Comrie used that loop-hole to squeeze a big contract out of Edmonton (the team that drafted him) because he threatened to or actually did leave college (I'm unsure which it was) two years after his draft year which would have made him an UFA.

peace

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Comrie played at Michigan. Left college and played in the WHL with Kootenay. The fact that Edmonton hadn't signed him after 2 years of drafting him, and the fact that he had quit college a year ago would've made him an UFA at the end of the year. But Edmonton inked him and that's how he got his big money.

We keep the rights to Jimmy Howard until he stays in college. He's got a year left and he will play it out. There were talks of him leaving after his junior year and joining the Griffins next year, but that was only if the labor talks had been resolved. They didn't, and so the kid will play in college and then join the Griffins and work his way up.

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After a heartbreaking loss and tie with BC last week, Maine entered this weekend with one mission on their minds - win and move on. The Hockey East Quarter Finals have officially begun. Jimmy Howard put on a show tonight. 26 crackling saves. Took him over 55 minutes to surrender his 1st goal, after which he was replaced by freshman goalie, Lundin. The coach probably had Jimmy in for so long because he had the shut... going. Lundin surrendered a goal but the BlackBears still won this in convincing fashion, laying a 7-2 smackdown on UMASS Lowell. Game 2 tomorrow night.

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And 21 saves for Jimmy Howard tonight as Maine swept UMass Lowell. Final score: 5-1. Matt Lundin replaced Jimmy in net with a little over 2 minutes left to play. Howard was spectacular in net, especially in the 1st half when it was a 1-goal game. He was also terrific during the PK. Maine moves on the HE semifinals and improves it's chances of making it into the NCAA tournament. Simply put, Jimmy Howard is best goalie in the nation and no college team wants to face him in the playoffs thumbup.gif

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