Detroit -- The NHL All-Star Game is usually a lot more fun if you're not a goaltender, but that doesn't bother Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard. He really is just happy to be there.
Howard wasn't even on the All-Star ballot but a write-in campaign and his stellar first-half numbers helped him reach his first All-Star Game, which will be held Sunday in Ottawa.
"With my numbers last year, I probably didn't warrant to be on there," Howard said. "We outscored a lot of teams last year to build wins. After the playoffs I had, I feel like I can take on more of a role and be more of a difference-maker for the guys. Im just playing with a lot of confidence."
That confidence translated into a league-leading 30 wins before the All-Star break. Howard needs just seven more victories to tie his career high, set and matched the last two seasons. Howard ranks fifth with a 2.03 goals-against average and ninth with a .924 save percentage.
Unlike some organizations, the Red Wings prefer to have their...