With all the talent between the pipes does Jimmy Howard stand a chance at being the starting goaltender for Team USA?
Yes, he does. Since the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games, Howard has posted 37 wins, 35 wins, and 21 wins in his previous three seasons, with the 21 wins coming in the shortened season.
Over the past two seasons he was ranked in the top 10 in both Goals Against Average and Save Percentage; the only other two goalies to do that are Henrik Lundqvist and Cory Schneider.
Lundqvist number are legit, but Schneider’s numbers are slightly inflated because Schneider only played a measly 33 games in 2011-12 and 30 in 2012-13, while Howard played 57 games in 2011-12 and 42 in 2012-13.
That amount of production from Jimmy Howard should give him a leg up in the competition, but he will be competing against Ryan Miller who was USA’s starting goalie for the Vancouver Olympics and led USA to a Sliver Medal and Jonathan Quick who led his team to a Stanley Cup Championship a little over a year ago.
Both Miller and Quick had very disappointing seasons between the pipes last year though and it could come back to haunt them and the strong season by Howard could push him over the top.
Ryan Miller and Jonathan Quick are both very talented goaltenders, but so is Jimmy Howard and despite who will be pick as the starting goalie, I expect people will start to notice Howard’s excellence between the pipes.
Once the roster is finalized I expect to see Jimmy Howard’s name on the roster, but where exactly it will be I am not sure. As a selfish Red Wing’s fan I hope it is third, which means he will be getting the valuable experience of being there, but will not be tired once he returns to the Red Wings after the break.