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Why Jimmy Howard is an All-Star

 Jimmy Howard will be starting his sixteenth straight game tonight when his Detroit Red Wings face off with the Tampa Bay Lightning.  Not only has he been the go to guy in net for the Wings all year, but he has also played really well for them like all star goalies do.  So why was his name not included on the All-Star game player ballot? In this article, I will explain why it should have been. 

The first piece of evidence that shows Howard is an All-Star can be found under the statistical page on NHL.com. There it can be seen that Howard is tied for the league lead in wins with thirteen. Considering his team has fourteen wins in total, those thirteen wins under his name are pretty impressive. He has easily been the better goalie in Detroit and one of the best in the league so far this year. In the other goalie categories he is second in shutouts with three, third in goals against average with a 1.87 and eleventh in save percentage with a 9.30. For a goalie that is not an All-Star those are very impressive numbers and should on their own get him into the game.   

Any goalie that can start sixteen games in a row is a star.  That requires extreme stamina that few goalies have, including some on the ballot.  He was been the go to guy for Detroit and a big reason they have 29 points in only 22 games.  He has played in 19 of those 22 games and has been credited with all but one of the Wings wins so far this year.  Howard has been one of the Wings most valuable players and consistent players this season.  He deserves to be honored by the league for the role he has played in the Wings success so far this year. 

Of course, some people will argue that playing net for the Red Wings is easy since they have Nick Lidstrom and a bunch of other great defensemen limiting opponents' chances. That may be true as the Wings sit have the second best shots against per game average, but it still takes an All-Star goalie to win games. Having strong defensive players playing in front of you may give a goalie an advantage but for a team to be as successful as the Red Wings have been, the goalie needs to be good too.  Every shot as the potential of going in, but if a goalie can play consistently and give his team a chance to win, they are an All-Star.  Howard is an All-Star and has proven in it all year.  He should be recognized for his efforts by at least being listed on the ballot.  His play this year has proven he has earned it. 

Though the All-Star game is not the most exciting event of the year, it is an exciting time for the players.  The fact that the league recognizes their best players with a special weekend is still a nice gesture even though it appears cheesy on television.  Still, the game should be honoring the best players in the league not the highest paid.  Sure Howard was a late bloomer but he has reached his peak and that peak is great play.  Howard should be in the game and if he will not be on the ballot, there is always write in votes.  

Josh Beneteau is the writer of The Power of Hockey Blog and a Red Wings contributor for hockey tracker.net. He can be followed on twitter at @jbenny15 and emailed at josh@jbenny.com.   

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