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Posted On Saturday, 01.28.2012 / 11:16 PM

By Jimmy Howard -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Jimmy Howard's 2012 Tim Horton's All-Star blog

Despite loss in Fastest Skater, Detroit's Howard enjoys himself

As part of All-Access All Things All-Star coverage on NHL.com this weekend in Ottawa, Detroit Red Wing goalie Jimmy Howard will be blogging his thoughts and experiences as one of the under-fire goalies in the skills-saturated All-Star Game. Here's his second entry, all about his thoughts on the 2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Skills Competition on Saturday night at Scotiabank Place.
 
KANATA, Ont. -- What a special night. To be rubbing shoulders with the best in the NHL, never in my wildest dreams before this season did I think I would be here at Scotiabank Place for the Skills competition, but it was amazing.
 
Of course, what wasn't amazing was my showing in the Fastest Skater competition. I wrote Friday that it was the one event that I wanted no part of, but as a first-time All-Star I didn't think it was my place to go up to Zdeno Chara and tell him to take me out of it.
 
He probably wouldn't have taken to a demand quite well.
 
So, I had to do it, and I have to admit, I was shaking a little bit before I got up to the blue line and waited for the whistle. Then I almost went down in my turn so, I was like, 'Let's pull it back here and be extra cautious.'
 
It wasn't so much that I was worried about my health because I trust myself on skates, but I definitely didn't want to be the guy that went flying into the tires. On that turn I said to myself, 'Take it nice and slow and get across the blue line.'
 
I didn't want to turn into some type of YouTube sensation, you know, the NHL goalie that blows his tire and flies into the tires.
 
That would probably sit with me for the rest of my career.
 
So, I got smoked by Jonathan Quick. It was pretty bad, basically to the point where Quickie could stop and look back at me.
 
It's OK, though. The rest of the night was a blast. I thought it was so clever to see Patrick Kane pull out the Superman cape and then the glasses just topped it off, but it was also fun watching Corey Perry take it back to the mini-stick days in the Breakaway Challenge.
 
I didn't get to be a goalie in that event, but it was fun watching Carey Price and Brian Elliott have a good time with it. Price even went no-look, turning his back on one of the guys.
 
I had a few things up my sleeve that I would have pulled out if I was in that Breakaway Challenge. Most of them were ideas I got from Chris Osgood, who tells me all about some of the crazy stuff one of his old partners, Kevin Hodson, used to do.
 
Maybe I'll save all of my tricks for next year. Hopefully.
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Posted On Friday, 01.27.2012 / 6:28 PM

By Jimmy Howard -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Jimmy Howard's 2012 Tim Horton's All-Star blog

Howard: All-Star experience is a surreal one

As part of All-Access All Things All-Star coverage on NHL.com this weekend in Ottawa, Detroit Red Wing goalie Jimmy Howard will be blogging his thoughts and experiences as one of the under-fire goalies in the skills-saturated All-Star Game. Here's his first entry, eginning with his thoughts on being pulled after the first period of his last game, a 7-2 loss to Montreal in which he allowed four goals in first period.

OTTAWA -- By the end of the first period of Wednesday night's loss the writing was on the wall. Pierre McGuire was right there in between the benches and I figured I would be sitting next to him doing color commentary on the NBC Sports Network for the rest of the night.

You know what, over the course of the year, you understand as a goalie that you're going to have those games. To have only two like that in 50 games so far, I'm very thankful for it, but they happen.

I don't know why, but I felt really good in warmups on Wednesday. But, the Canadiens came out, we were a little bit flat, and they rolled us. However, one of the things that I think has made me successful is having that short-term memory. I went in to talk to our goalie coach, Jim Bedard, for about five minutes and he calmed me down.

I had to just start looking forward to the All-Star Weekend. It is great to be here.

It's my first time here so I was really nervous coming in on Thursday. You walk into a room filled with guys from around the League that you respect so much. You sort of just have to pinch yourself because you still can't believe that you're able to be a part of these festivities with them.

It's still surreal for me. It was surreal at the Fantasy Player Draft, too.

I was waiting back there in the green room with Keith Yandle, and once Daniel Alfredsson and Henrik Lundqvist picked Brian Elliott, I said to him that I should just walk out on stage because they don't even have to announce my name. They had to take all the goalies by the 10th round, and I was the last one standing.

I knew they had to take me eventually, so maybe I should have just walked out there and taken a seat.

It doesn't matter that I was the last goalie taken. I'm excited to be here, and, most importantly, I'm excited that all my friends and family are here as well. I grew up in Ogdensburg, N.Y., which is just down the 416.

Now, in terms of the Skills competition on Saturday, I've been told that I'm the goalie for Team Chara that will compete in the Fastest Skater competition. Of course I am because that was the one I told them I didn't want to do. I know I'm going to be awful at it. I think I'm a pretty good skater, but I don't think I'm that fast.

But, win or lose, I just hope that I don't do what Tim Thomas did last year in Carolina and fall. I'm not sure if he did that on purpose. I have to ask him.

We'll see how I do. I'll write about it Saturday night.
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Not only is it a great idea, but if you don't [start using analytics] you're going to fall behind. You have to be on the cutting edge. It was [Arizona Coyotes assistant general manager] Darcy Regier who said, 'If you didn't invent it, you have to be the second- or third-best copier, because if you're fourth or fifth you've got no chance.'

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