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ESPN: J-Ho no sophmore slump


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#1 Konnan511

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 12:18 AM

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2. Howard still providing quality starts
Not so fast for those who were prepared to anoint the Columbus Blue Jackets this year's dark horse contender a la last year's Phoenix Coyotes. The Blue Jackets have been impressive, no doubt, but the Detroit Red Wings served notice that the old dogs can still hunt by sweeping a home-and-home affair from Columbus over the weekend.

It was an interesting clash given some of the parallels between the two teams.

Two years ago, Columbus netminder Steve Mason jumped from junior hockey to NHL stardom, winning the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year and adding a Vezina Trophy nomination to his youthful resume. Last season, Mason imploded and the Blue Jackets faded back into obscurity.

Last season, Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard emerged from a four-year apprenticeship in the AHL and shocked many by leading the injury-plagued Red Wings from deep in the standings into the playoffs for the 19th straight season. Howard was nominated for the Calder Trophy and received our top vote, although he was bested by Buffalo defenseman Tyler Myers (by the way, how's that sophomore season going, Tyler?).

Unlike Mason, though, Howard has continued to provide both consistency and quality between the Detroit pipes in his sophomore campaign.

Although peers Carey Price, Michal Neuvirth, Tim Thomas and Sergei Bobrovsky have received most of the goaltending attention through the first quarter of the season, Howard has quietly compiled a sparkling 13-2-2 record and the Wings are considered by most to be the best team in the Western Conference at the quarter pole (and among the top two or three teams in the league).

"He's earned the right to feel confident about himself," head coach Mike Babcock said recently.

Now, there is a fine line between confident and cocky, something Mason learned the hard way last season.

Howard, perhaps because he is older at 26, is quick to deflect praise for his play and just as quick to accept responsibility when he doesn't play well.

Babcock said that when he meets with the media after a game, "if he [Howard] hasn't played well he's already told the press he wasn't very good."

"He's accountable," the coach said.

For his part, Howard said it's easy not to become complacent in a dressing room with guys like Nicklas Lidstrom, having a Hart Trophy kind of season at age 40, and hard-working stars like Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg.

But here's the dilemma for the Wings: With Chris Osgood trying to rehab a lingering groin issue and not having played well when he was healthy, there are issues about the team's goaltending depth.

"He can't play every night," Babcock said of Howard.

With the Wings hard against the salary cap, it's going to present a dilemma for GM Ken Holland moving forward. That's to say nothing of the fact that Howard can become an unrestricted free agent at season's end. Stay tuned.

ESPN

Edited by Konnan511, 30 November 2010 - 12:19 AM.

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#2 roboturner

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 12:47 AM

What kind of contract do you guys think Howard will get?

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#3 titanium2

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 01:08 AM

He's definitely had a good start to the year. A slump can kick in anytime though. The good thing right now is that Jimmy and those around him seem to be safeguarding against that as much as possible.

#4 Konnan511

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 01:29 AM

What kind of contract do you guys think Howard will get?

Me guess is between 2 and 3.5 mil unless we spread it out over 10+ years we could probably get away with 5-3-3-3-3-2-2-2-2-2-1-1-1 = 2.37 cap hit.

But as every knows, it's a badddd idea to give a goalie a long contract. If he gets a 3-6 year deal I see him getting a 3-5 cap hit contract, simlilar to Halaks.

Edited by Konnan511, 30 November 2010 - 01:35 AM.

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#5 CaliWingsNut

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 01:40 AM

Me guess is between 2.5 and 3.5 mil unless we spread it out over 10+ years we could probably get away with 5-4-4-3-3-3-2-2-2-2-1-1 = 2.66 cap hit.


I seriously doubt Holland would sign such a long contract for a goaltender.

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#6 WMUCarGuy

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 02:03 AM

I think as we saw this past off season that most teams won't bank huge on a goalie and there are enough quality players out there that even the best out there won't be able to command mega money. I'd guess around $3M a year, but what do I know...

#7 edicius

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 09:04 AM

I'd say a $3M, five-year contract. Perhaps slightly more if we succeed in the playoffs, slightly less if we flounder and Howard is a part of it.

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#8 redwingcapt

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 09:14 AM

im guessing betweeen a 4 and 5 years deal and between a 3 and 4.5million cap hit.

BAdddddd idea to give long term contract to a goalie....
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#9 Doc Holliday

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 09:18 AM

All depends on how he performs in the playoffs. That is where his legacy will eventually live or die on this team.

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#10 mindfly

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 09:27 AM

The fact of the matter is, howard is not top 10 in any category, GAA, SV%, SO etc.. so kenny holland will use that in the contract discussions, no more than 2M should he get, 4.5M!? get real, wings won't have 4.5M in their goalie, they put it on defense instead.

Edit: Looking more into it, howard is ranked 20th in SV% which is the best stat to tell if a goalie is good or not., not very good is it.

Edited by mindfly, 30 November 2010 - 09:31 AM.


#11 VM1138

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 09:58 AM

The fact of the matter is, howard is not top 10 in any category, GAA, SV%, SO etc.. so kenny holland will use that in the contract discussions, no more than 2M should he get, 4.5M!? get real, wings won't have 4.5M in their goalie, they put it on defense instead.

Edit: Looking more into it, howard is ranked 20th in SV% which is the best stat to tell if a goalie is good or not., not very good is it.


Keep in mind he had a rough 3 or 4 games, which is going to shoot that SV% skyhigh. He'll lock it down as the season progresses.
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#12 KrazyGangsta

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 10:00 AM

Howard is good but his not amazing I highly doubt he demands more then 3 - 3.5 a year.

IMO we should sign Howard to a 2 or 3 year at 2.850 - 3.250.

#13 egroen

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 10:07 AM

What kind of contract do you guys think Howard will get?

Contract-wise I'm pretty happy Jimmy is doing 'good' versus 'great' right now and his blah playoffs will help keep his salary manageable. I'm hoping a 3-5 year contract closer to $3.5m versus the $4.5m+ the elite goalies are getting. I'd be all in favor of signing Howard sooner than later, hopefully he does not hold off until the playoffs (would prefer to not have that on his mind as well).
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#14 scottj

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 12:51 PM

The fact of the matter is, howard is not top 10 in any category, GAA, SV%, SO etc..

What about wins? If he's not in the top 10 in wins then I dunno what to think

N yeah, like somebody said, he did just come off of a bad few games. He's not vezina trophy material yet but that's what the next couple years are for. For his second year in the nhl, I think he's pretty damn good.

#15 mindfly

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 12:54 PM

What about wins? If he's not in the top 10 in wins then I dunno what to think

N yeah, like somebody said, he did just come off of a bad few games. He's not vezina trophy material yet but that's what the next couple years are for. For his second year in the nhl, I think he's pretty damn good.


He's 2nd in wins at 13 behind my man carey price.
The team in front of him score alot of goals, 2nd in the league in Goals for (wings played less games)

Edited by mindfly, 30 November 2010 - 12:56 PM.


#16 Stolberg

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 12:56 PM

that's weird, because 7 other teams have scored more than detroit



#17 mindfly

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 01:01 PM

that's weird, because 7 other teams have scored more than detroit

They have played more games, i guess it's called Average Goals Per Game(?)

Edit: But maybe this is just for western conference... ah whatever.

Edited by mindfly, 30 November 2010 - 01:02 PM.


#18 truebladearmy

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 05:49 PM

The fact of the matter is, howard is not top 10 in any category, GAA, SV%, SO etc.. so kenny holland will use that in the contract discussions, no more than 2M should he get, 4.5M!? get real, wings won't have 4.5M in their goalie, they put it on defense instead.

Edit: Looking more into it, howard is ranked 20th in SV% which is the best stat to tell if a goalie is good or not., not very good is it.


He finished 5th in SvPct last year. The last few games have hurt his stats a bit, but they're still mostly all wins. His playoff performance will be what mostly determines his salary for the next few years I'd bet.

If he keeps winning it will factor in too. One thing about Howard is that he's mostly consistent every single night, and the Wings as an organization seems more than confident in him.

#19 Konnan511

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 08:21 PM

that's weird, because 7 other teams have scored more than detroit

Not per game.
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#20 Stolberg

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 08:23 PM

thank you for enlightening me 8 hours later







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