The Detroit Red Wings weren’t able to make any significant upgrades over the summer, so if they’re going to improve in 2014-15, it will have to be by getting more from what’s already in their organization.
Part of that will come from the natural development of their young players, but they also have some veterans that are expected to improve on their 2013-14 showings. One example of that is goaltender Jimmy Howard, who went from posting a 2.13 GAA and .923 save percentage in 42 games during the 2013 shortened campaign to a 2.66 GAA and .910 save percentage in 51 contests last season.
“I can be a lot better, a lot more consistent,” Howard told the Detroit News. He also admitted that it was by no means a good season for him.
It’s worth noting that Howard had to deal with knee problems and a hip flexor injury last season and those issues occasionally forced him to the sidelines.
Detroit tied its fate to Howard when he was signed to a six-year, $31.75 million contract. That deal won’t expire until the summer of 2019, so if Howard doesn’t bounce back, it would be a big problem for the Red Wings. If he stays healthy, the Red Wings are expecting Howard to play in a minimum of 60 games.