Player after player said it in one way or another in post game interviews following the Red Wings over the Dallas Stars.
Jimmy Howard is back.
Howard stopped 12 straight shots by the Dallas Stars in the opening minutes and seconds later Henrik Zetterberg opened the scoring off a Dallas turnover. Dallas did tie the game later in the first period but the game was never close as the Wings scored 4 more goals, all from different goal scorers.
In all Jimmy Howard stopped 43 of 44 Dallas shots while leading the Wings to a 5-1 victory.
Jimmy Howard looked like a different goalie than the one that was between the pipes in the first half of the season. He showed no ill effects from his sprained knee and the rust that he showed since returning from his injury two starts ago…all gone.
So what does this mean for the Wings going forward. If you ask Mike Babcock it helps build confidence for the second half. Babcock said in a post game interview with Fox Sports Detroit, “We have been waiting for Howie to have a game like this and give our team confidence.”
John Keating of Fox Sports asked the Red Wings netminder what has changed for the first half to the second half. “To be honest when the clock struck midnight I was able to put the end of 2013 that wasn’t very nice to me behind me”, Howard said.
Well hopefully Jimmy Howard’s New Years Resolution to put the first half behind him helps the Wings do the same. They are still in a good position in the Eastern conference standings and can move up the ladder with a strong road trip. The Red Wings have a few days off before heading for San Jose to face the Sharks on Thursday.