How to Beat the Goalie: Howard

(Photo by: Tom Gromak/Flickr)

Entering the season, the Detroit Red Wings set high expectations for Jimmy Howard. The American born goaltender had to be strong with the loss of star defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom and all the injuries the Red Wings were–and still are–facing. Howard has been decent as of late, but with backup goalie Jonas Gustavsson breathing down his neck for any starts he can get, expect Howard to perform much better.

Howard has been prone to injuries in the past two seasons. Last season, he was affected by two groin and upper body injuries that held him out of starts for a good portion of the season. In the first meeting against the Predators Tuesday night, Howard had to leave mid-game with an upper body injury. Injuries are starting to plague him, which isn't good for a goaltender at his point of his career.

At 6'0", Howard is smaller than a lot of goaltenders in the NHL. In order to make up for his size, Howard isn't afraid to come out of his crease to cut down the angles. Personally, I adore when goaltenders come out and cut the angle down. Why sit back in the crease, especially with a height of 6'5"? 

However, coming out as far as Howard does works out sometimes, and sometimes isn't good enough. Sure he can make the direct stop, but if he leaves a rebound or the player makes a pass to the other side, Howard isn't quick enough to make that recovery in time most nights.

Howard leaves a lot of rebounds. Players will have to make sure to get pucks on net and crash for the rebound after. With the lack of strong defense the Red Wings have, doing so should lead to great success in the goal category.

Here is how to beat Jimmy Howard.

  • Rebounds: 7 times out of 10, Howard will give up a rebound off of his chest. The ones he does control are shots without any traffic in front. Also, shooting low will almost guarantee a hard rebound off the leg pads.

  • High Blocker Side: This is snipers' delight. Howard can't get his blocker up fast enought to stop a good shot blocker side.

Jimmy Howard's 2012-13 stats

#35 Jimmy Howard 18 13 7 4 .921 2.22

Jimmy Howard's career vs Nashville

#35 Jimmy Howard 8 5 1 3 .923 2.20