Jimmy Howard Leads Red Wings into 2010 with Shocking Stats

Eric LaForgeCorrespondent IJanuary 4, 2010

DETROIT - DECEMBER 9:  Jimmy Howard #35 of the Detroit Red Wings defends the net during the game against the St. Louis Blues at Joe Louis Arena on December 9, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images)
Dave Sandford/Getty Images

It took me a while, but I'm finally able to say that I trust Jimmy Howard in the net. I wasn't too sure if he was what we needed for a while, but I can now say I'm glad we have him.

At the beginning of the season, I don't think many fans had confidence in Howard. In October, he had the league's worst save percentage and goals against average.

However, that statistic seems long gone. 

He's now proving to be an outstanding goalie, leading the Red Wings into 2010 with the seventh best save percentage in the NHL (.923). That's ahead of Brodeur, Vokoun, Luongo, Thomas, and Conklin.

He also has the sixth best goals against average (2.20). That's tied with Brodeur and ahead of Luongo, Nabokov, and Fleury. He's in some pretty prestigious company in both of these important stats.

I watched the game last night against Phoenix, and I saw him stand on his head. I couldn't help but think about how much he's learned this season. As they said during the game last night, his confidence has improved a ton.

To me, that's the most important thing a goalie can have—confidence.  And it was the one thing he lacked at the beginning of the season. As he started to have success, he started to become more confident, and as he became more confident, he became even more successful.

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I'm starting to like the Wings' chances for the remainder of the season. I'm definitely not expecting a cup, but I'm sure we'll be able to make a good season out of what could have been a disaster.

I said before in another article that the Wings were going to fire on all cylinders for the next few months, starting now.

Once our injured players are back on the ice, there won't be anything stopping us from a great season.

See more of my opinions at Tips for Hockey.

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