Red Wings: The rise of Jonathan Bernier and fall of Jimmy Howard

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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Red Wings
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

The fall of Jimmy Howard over the course of the 2019-20 season and how it may affect his future as a Red Wings netminder.

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Any Red Wings fan from the past ten years or so would say that Jimmy Howard locked down the starting job and was a beast in the net. Most fans would agree that having Howard in net put the Red Wings at an advantage, fast forward back to 2020, and the consensus is going to be much different. Howard is having the worst statistical season of his career in multiple categories.

Now, injuries have kept Howard out of the net, but that might be a good thing the way that he has been playing and the way that Bernier has stepped up as the starter. A fourteen-year veteran of the league and a pending unrestricted free agent (UFA) may be nearing the end. Now thirty-five years old, Howard’s days of being a starter may be over, and retirement may not be out of the question.

On the injury-stricken 2019-20 season, Howard has been limited to twenty-four starts where he has accumulated a 2-20-2 record, a .884 SV%, and a 4.12 GAA. He has never had a SV% that low over the course of his career; he has also never seen a GAA metric above 4.00 over his fourteen years in the National Hockey League (NHL).

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The worst part about Howard’s numbers is that he has not recorded a win since October 29th, 2019, against the Edmonton Oilers. His last overtime loss came on January 17th, 2020, against the Pittsburgh Penguins. His statistics are terrible, and it is sad to think, but his time as the face of Red Wings goaltending for the last ten-ish seasons.