For the second year in a row, MLive.com readers have named goaltender Jimmy Howard the Detroit Red Wings mid-season Most Valuable Player.

Of the 1,008 people who cast ballots in our poll, Howard got a vote from 347 people. That's 34.2 percent of the vote.

Damien Brunner, the first-year forward from Switzerland, nipped Henrik Zetterberg for the No. 2 spot in the poll. Brunner got 210 votes (20.8 percent) to 204 (20.2) for Zetterberg.

Pavel Datsyuk was fourth with 188 votes (18.7) and Niklas Kronwall was a distant fifth with 59 votes (5.9).

"I'd have to say Howard ... he's won four, maybe five games, all by himself," wrote reader GallopingGreg. "Take 2-3 of those games away, and this first half would be a huge failure."

Indeed, at least one other fan wonders where the Red Wings would be without Howard.

"The best way to gauge the MVP is by subtraction," wrote reader akscott. "Take away Datsyuk and surely we'd have lost a few more games, same with Zetterberg, and Brunner. But we'd have been in the toughest spot without Howard because of Gus's injury, and limited depth in goal. I have no doubt the Wings would've been under .500 without Howard, so He'd definitely get my vote as the first half MVP."

Despite what GallopingGreg and akscott think, Howard has his detractors.