First he lost his lunch. Then he lost his job. Then he lost his head. It wasn’t the best of weeks for Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard, whose larger-than-life bobblehead statue outside Campus Martius was vandalized early Thursday morning, less than a week after he fell ill and his team was summarily dismissed from the playoffs. Heads will roll, as they say. And though the missing noggin from Howard’s statue eventually was recovered near a railroad underpass, there’s no way to retrieve what was lost this past season for his team. In the first year of a six-year, $31.75 million extension, Howard posted his worst numbers since a sophomore slump in 2010-11. He battled a knee injury all winter and what he called the most frustrating stretch of his five-year NHL career. And his hopes for a redemptive playoff run were cut short, first by a flu bug and then by the Bruins, the odds-on favorites to win the Stanley Cup. Reflecting on all that this week, the 30-year-old called it “an OK season.” “But by no means was it a good or great season,” added Howard, whose wife is expecting the couple’s second child this month. “I think I can be a lot better, a lot more consistent for the guys, and that’s what I’m going to work on over the summer.” The summer arrived in early spring again for the Red Wings. And Howard doesn’t need anyone to remind him the “five-year drought” coach Mike Babcock referred to Tuesday — the Red Wings haven’t gotten past the second round of the playoffs since 2009 — directly coincides with his tenure as Detroit’s No. 1 goaltender.
Competition might help Red Wings' Jimmy Howard after 'OK season'
Detroit News | May 3