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Get to Know a Dumb Jerk Red Wing: Jimmy Howard

Knowing me, knowing you (ah-ha) There is nothing we can do Knowing me, knowing you (ah-ha)

The Hills Have Eyes
The Hills Have Eyes
Days of Y'Orr

Here's a fun game.

Goalie A posted a .917 save percentage this season (92.6% at 5v5). Goalie B posted a .910 save percentage this season (92.5% at 5v5). Which one is Jimmy Howard and which one is calamity/goaltender Steve Mason? (Hint: Jimmy Howard is Goalie B)

Would you look at that, Jimmy Howard was a worse goaltender this year than STEVE MASON.

That's not to say that he's by any means terrible. Howard ranked 15th in 5v5 save percentage this season among goaltenders with at least 41 games played, which is to say he's...average. Not great, not terrible...just there.

Where it gets real fun, though, is if you decrease the minimum games played to 21 to factor in regular backups. With that criteria, Howard falls to 26th in the league. If you look up, you'll notice (Hi, I'm) Chad Johnson sitting 0.09% higher. Boring, old Jimmy Howard is not only unfit to be the Bruins number one goaltender, he wouldn't even be an upgrade over a backup.

Perhaps I'm focusing too much on this season alone. In his five full NHL seasons, he's reached .920 three times, which is nice. Let's look at how his career numbers stack up against his contemporaries (ranked by sv% '05-'06 to present):

Welp, more mediocrity from Howard. Again, I'll stress that he's not bad - he just seems that way to Bruins fans who've grown accustomed to great goaltending. He's proven himself as a dependable goaltender, but hardly spectacular.

Despite evidence to the contrary, he's been highly touted by loyal (yet naive) fans...

Fortunately, Nicholas can now see for himself that 17 is not that ridiculous. You're welcome!

Hmm...not quite (hey look, it's Tuukka).

...and some of the media:

Even Team USA's brain trust (who presumably named him to the team after Howard demonstrated he could spell intensity) are fans of Howard.

Jimmy Howard has no shortage of fans. But this...this is absurd.

Jimmy Howard Is the Best Goaltender in the Atlantic Division

Tsk. Tsk.

Jimmy Howard is a just okay goalie playing on a just okay team. I don't get all the fuss.