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.
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.