Originally posted on The Hockey Program  |  Last updated 12/3/11

That is exactly what can be said of Jimmy Howard, the 27-year-old netminder for the Detroit Red Wings.

In 21 games played this season, Howard is 15-5-1 with a 1.83 goals against average, a .931 save percentage and 3 shutouts, When it come to NHL netminder rankings this season, Howard is first in the league in victories, second in the league in shutouts and second in the league in goals against. 

In other important goaltending statistics, Howard is eighth in games played and sixth in minutes played. With Ty Conklin as his back-up, you know that both of these categories will jump up considering how well Howard is playing right now.

Looking at his last five games between the pipes, Howard's statistics have been quite staggering. Howard has won five straight and has allowed just nine goals.

Right now, it looks like Howard is ready to do something special for the Wings. Howard never gives up on a play, is in position for second and third shots and knows how to control the game with his excpetional confidence. 

In a market that has been somewhat tough on netminders, what Howard is doing right now is pretty remarkable. Tim Cheveldae was booed out of town, Mike Vernon was almost ran out of town after losing to the New Jersey Devils in the 1995 Stanley Cup Final and of course, Osgood was also carefully looked at because of the awful timing his soft goals would come and Manny Legace was also heavily scrutinized, especially when it came to the postseason.

It is nice to see a young netminder getting things done for one of the greatest and most storied franchises in the National Hockey League and given the way Howard has been playing this season, I believe that will continue.

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