Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard seems to have shook off his "sophomore slump" of last year.
This might have something to do with the fact that the Red Wings are playing more complete team defense this year, and this has given Howard a boost to his statistics.
Boasting a 1.66 GAA, a 93.4 save percentage and a league-leading three shutouts in 12 games played, Howard has come out ready to go in his third season as the starting goalie for Detroit.
So why no All-Star ballot nomination for Mr. Howard?
After all, his save percentage is top ten in the league, at seventh overall. His GAA is top five in the league at fourth overall. His three shutouts are tied for tops in the league with Pekka Rinne.
So does Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard have a case to be on the all-star ballot for the 2012 All-Star game in Ottawa?
Well let's look at some other statistics from goalies that got the nomination.
Martin Brodeur: 2-3-0 record with a 3.02 GAA and a 88.0 save percentage.
Jaroslav Halak: 2-6-1 record with a 2.78 GAA and a 88.2 save percentage.
Roberto Luongo: 7-5-1 record with a 2.97 GAA and a 89.6 save percentage.
Ryan Miller: 5-6-0 record with a 2.86 GAA and a 90.9 save percentage (and out with a concussion).
Now as I don't want to sound like a "homer" pushing forward my own goaltender, I will just say that the statistics speak louder than any argument that I may advance in this article.
I know Brodeur, Luongo, and Miller are all world class goaltenders and they are some of the greatest goalies to play the game, but I think Jimmy Howard needs to get some recognition once in a while, especially where he currently ranks compared to his peers.
Jimmy Howard is not on the ballot for the same reason that the under-achieving Datsyuk and Zetterberg are on the ballot:
Howard is not considered a perennial power player at his position, whereas Datsyuk and Zetterberg are two of the best in the game, and the League recognizes their ability to draw fans to All-Star games.
The word "star" upon first glance would suggest that someone would have to be a star to be selected to play in such an event. I know goalies like Luongo, Miller, and Brodeur have played well in seasons past. But this season they really don't "have it" as far as their game goes.
It's time to give credit where credit is due.
Jimmy Howard needs a spot in the All-Star Game ballot and not just a spot as a write-in vote.
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