By the Numbers will highlight the Red Wings' on-ice accomplishments in the 2018-19 season. Each week during the offseason, By the Numbers will profile a different player on the team, focusing on his statistical highs. This week we focus on goaltender Jimmy Howard.
It's a story Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill likes to tell whenever he's asked about goalie Jimmy Howard.
Blashill weaves a tale of how Howard was at a crossroads in his career a few seasons back when it appeared upstart youngster Petr Mrazek had taken the No. 1 job in the Detroit net.
Howard had to reevaluate his game and alter his style or he would be relegated to backup duty and perhaps eventually become a journeyman as he played out the string of his NHL career.
But Howard wasn't ready to take a backseat to anyone. He worked on his game, took back the starter's net and has arguably been Detroit's most valuable and consistent player the last couple seasons as the Red Wings continue their rebuilding process.
Because he has put in the hard work to essentially reinvent himself, Howard is admired by his coaches and teammates, who consistently mention how his goaltending keeps them in every game, giving the Wings a chance to win.
Yet Howard doesn't dwell on his recent metamorphosis; he's focused on his task, which he describes as "making saves for the guys."
Last season, Howard was in the final year of a six-year deal worth $31.75 million. As the trade deadline approached, speculation started to mount that the Wings were willing to part with Howard for the right price, but in the end, he stayed put and on March 20, he signed a one-year extension with the Wings for $5.1 million.
Many were surprised Howard would agree to only a one-year deal, but Howard is extremely comfortable in his own skin. His passion and competitiveness have not waned and regardless of where Howard's career may lead, Michigan has become his home.
These days, he's aware he can only control what he can control and based on the last few seasons, Howard is in complete control of the Red Wings' goal.
55 - Games Howard played last season. It was the seventh time in his NHL career, which spans over 13 seasons (10 full seasons) that he has played more than 50 games.
23 - For the second time in his career, Howard notched 23 wins. In 2014-15, he also recorded 23 wins in 53 games.
22 - His total number of losses, which was the second-most he suffered in a season with the Red Wings. The most losses he registered in a single season is 27 in 60 games during the 2017-18 campaign.
5 - Number of overtime losses. For his career, Howard has lost 68 games in OT.
3.07 - On a Detroit team which ranked 27th overall in the NHL, surrendering an average of 3.38 goals per game, Howard's 3.07 goals-against average last season was the highest of his career. His career goals-against average is 2.55.
.909 - Howard's save percentage. His career save percentage is .914.
0 - Excluding his first three seasons with the Wings, 2005-06 through 2008-09, in which he played nine total games and didn't register a shutout, Howard failed to record a shutout last season for the first time as a full-time member of the team. He did share a shutout with goaltending partner Jonathan Bernier in a 4-0 victory on March 29 versus New Jersey, when Bernier left the game with an upper-body injury. Howard made seven saves to preserve the shutout.
3 - Last season, Howard was named the Red Wings' representative to the 2019 NHL All-Star game in San Jose. It was the third time he was an All-Star and second time he played in the game. Howard was also an All-Star in 2012 and 2015, but a groin injury prevented him from playing in the 2015 classic.
500 - On Feb. 14, Howard became the 71st goalie in NHL history to play 500 games, a 3-2 victory over Ottawa at Little Caesars Arena. Howard stopped 40 of the 42 shots he faced for a .952 save percentage. He was named second star of the game. He's the third goaltender in Red Wings history to play 500 games for Detroit, joining Terry Sawchuk (734 games) and Chris Osgood (565 games). Howard also became the eighth American-born goalie to play 500 NHL games.
7-8 - For his career, Howard has played in 516 games, which ranks him seventh all-time in games played for American-born goalies. Detroit native John Vanbiesbrouck has played the most NHL games for an American-born goalie with 882. Howard's 244 wins places him eighth overall in victories by an American-born netminder. East Lansing native Ryan Miller leads all American-born goalies in NHL victories with 378. Vanbiesbrouck is second at 374.