Jimmy Howard looks ready for the Coyotes … are YOU?

Detroit Red Wings Goalie Jimmy Howard
Detroit Red Wings Goalie Jimmy Howard, photo by radiospike photography

Canadian hockey broadcaster Bob McKenzie has said that perhaps playoff hockey should be renamed “goalie.” If that’s the case, then we better hope that the man above, Red Wings rookie goalie Jimmy Howard – named the NHL’s second star for March – is up for the task. Jimmy Howard finishes the season 4th in the NHL in save percentage and is considered a candidate for Rookie of the Year. ESPN says that beyond that, Howard is playing himself into the Hart Trophy debate:

With each passing day, it becomes crystal clear Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard isn’t just the obvious candidate for rookie of the year, but he has also played himself into consideration for the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goaltender.

…Now the storyline surrounding the Wings is whether Howard can become the first Red Wings netminder to capture rookie of the year honors since Roger Crozier in 1964-65, and how he will react to the pressures of being a playoff goalie in Detroit.

“He’s a guy that’s done a good job for us. He’s gotten us to the point we’re at. The test of time is what he’s got to survive,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “There’s been lots of goalies that have come into the league and some even won the rookie of the year and then you don’t keep it going. That’s up to him.

The Wings open the 2010 playoffs at Phoenix on Wednesday at 10 PM.

See this photo bigger in Spike’s Red Wings slideshow, stay tuned to his photostream through the playoffs for more shots and let’s go Wings!