Jimmy Howard lucky to have Chris Osgood behind him

OsgoodHoward.jpgThe Detroit Red Wings know how to win. They’ve been doing it for 20
years, with different coaches and different players and the formula is
almost always the sam
e; great defense, incredible skill up forward,
tenacity and crispness and solid, veteran goaltending.

This season the Wings have strayed from the formula a bit.

Detroit will head into the post season with Calder and Vezina Trophy
hopeful Jimmy Howard in net, the rookie goaltender who has done much
more than just be a solid force in net. All season long he’s been the
glue that has held the team together, putting them on his shoulders when
injuries threatened to keep the team out of the playoffs.

For Howard, it’s a brand new experience with a ton of pressure.
Lucky, he has Chris Osgood to help him out. From Ansar
Khan of MLive.com:

“He’s always the same, he’s on an even keel, he doesn’t
get too upset or too rattled,” Osgood said. “He kind of has the same
demeanor I do, pretty relaxed, just goes and plays. He’s confident.
When you have those things and work hard good, things will happen.”

don’t know how he does it, but he can tell when I’m a little tense and
he’ll always come up with a one-liner that will make me laugh,”
Howard said. “In the playoffs, I’m sure it’ll be no different.”

Never before has Detroit entered the playoffs with such inexperience
in net, and it’s an incredible thing to have such an accomplished backup
behind him. How many teams can boast the ability that if, they’re
starting goaltender falters, they have a two-time Stanley Cup winner
ready to step up?

Nevermind the fact that he’s been wholly
mediocre this season; it’s still a luxury everyone would love to have.

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    Start the Carr: Habs recall another player from the minors

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    There’s been a lot of movement between Montreal and Saint John’s lately and that continued on Sunday.

    This time, it’s forward Daniel Carr who’ll be getting a stint with the big club.

    Carr has no prior NHL experience.

    The 24-year-old spent four years at Union College before joining the Canadiens organization as an undrafted free agent.

    In his first season as a pro, Carr scored 24 goals (led the team) and 39 points in 76 AHL games with the Hamilton Bulldogs in 2014-15.

    This year, Carr has seven goals and 15 points in 20 games.

    Montreal is without forwards Torrey Mitchell, Brendan Gallagher and Alexander Semin.

    Campbell’s perfect snipe sinks Wings in OT


    Brian Campbell doesn’t score as many points as he used to, but he came up with a huge goal against the Red Wings on Sunday afternoon.

    With the game tied, 1-1, in overtime, Campbell skated into the slot and beat Petr Mrazek with a perfect wrister to end the game.

    It was also a pretty nice passing play between Jussi Jokinen, Jonathan Huberdeau and Campbell.

    Dylan Larkin opened the scoring in the second period before Reilly Smith leveled the score with just over five minutes remaining.

    The Wings have blown a lead in three straight games.

    Detroit was up 2-0 and 3-2 in their last game, against Edmonton, before they finally closed the game out with an overtime goal by Niklas Kronwall.

    They weren’t so fortunate against the Bruins on Wednesday, as they lost 3-2 in OT after leading 2-1 with under two minutes remaining in regulation.

    This was the first meeting of the season between Detroit and Florida, but they’ll see each other three times between Feb. 4 and Mar. 19.

    With Jonathan Bernier sputtering, we’ll meet Garret Sparks

    Garett Sparks
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    You can’t blame Mike Babcock for siding with the relatively unknown when the other option is Jonathan Bernier, a goalie who’s 0-8-1 so far in 2015-16.

    With that in mind, meet Garret Sparks, the Toronto Maple Leafs’ expected starter for Monday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers.

    Sparks was a seventh-round pick (190th overall) in 2011, a guy who was off to a great start in the AHL. That much wasn’t lost on Babcock.

    Let’s face it, though; this is as much about the Leafs’ other two goalies as it is about Sparks (whose name inspired a very obscure reference in this post’s headline).

    In Bernier’s case, there’s an “enough’s enough” feel:

    Meanwhile, James Reimer‘s not quite healthy enough to play yet, so the window of opportunity is open for Sparks … a little bit.

    Sparks will get a chance to make an impression, even if it’s just a small one.

    Video: Dylan Larkin adds to his rookie goals lead

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    So far, the 2015-16 crop of rookies is living up to the hype, if not exceeding it. Connor McDavid‘s unfortunate injury hasn’t even derailed this year’s crop.

    The Detroit Red Wings are watching their own blue chip blossom, as Dylan Larkin is making an instant impact.

    No. 71 scored his 10th goal of the season against the Florida Panthers on Sunday, fattening his rookie goals lead.

    He still needs five points to match rookie points leader Artemi Panarin, though.