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Jimmy Howard was not expected to become a starting goaltender for Detroit. It was the decline of Chris Osgood that made him the player he is today.
After the 2008-09 season, Ty Conklin was let go because of Howard's performance. He deserved to be the backup goaltender. Little did the Wings know that he was going to be much more then a backup that year.
Howard played 63 games during the 2009-10 season. He won 37 games and had a GAA of 2.26. He was even in the running for rookie of the year.
In the playoffs, he was able help carry Detroit to the second round.
In his second NHL full season, his GAA was 2.79. Although his GAA went up, his win record was identical to the season before, but his playoff record was even more impressing.
The Wings lost three straight. No one expected Detroit to make a comeback. The Wings won three straight games. It went down to Game 7, but Detroit still lost. Howard was one of the main reasons Detroit almost went on the the Western Conference finals.
In the 2011-12 season, Howard helped Detroit get 23 straight home ice wins. The Wings now hold the record for most consecutive home ice wins.
Detroit had many injuries this year, and even Howard became injured.
Without Howard, the Wings fell to fifth seed in the West.
Howard was a risk that paid off. Detroit realized what his potential was early on, and they gave him a chance. The young and talented Howard saved Hockeytown's reputation as a powerhouse in the West.