Detroit Red Wings: Will Jimmy Howard Avoid the Sophomore Curse?

May 11th, 2010 by Mark Ritter Leave a reply »
Over the past few seasons, several goaltenders have emerged as monster talents in their rookie year, only to see it all fall apart in their sophomore season.

In 2007-08, Nashville Predators goaltender Dan Ellis posted a 23-10-3 record with a 2.34 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage.

The following season (2008-09, his sophomore year) Ellis struggled, going a paltry 11-19-4 with a 2.93 GAA and a .900 save percentage.

That very same year, Pekka Rinne, another Nashville Predators goaltender, emerged as a “money” goalie, posting a 29-15-4 record with a 2.38 GAA and a .917 save percentage.

Rinne followed up his 2008-09 season with a solid 32-16-5 record with a 2.53 GAA and a .911 save percentage—a terrific sophomore season. That said, Rinne struggled mightily over the Predators first 20 games, forcing the Preds to go back to Ellis at times.

In the end, Rinne would find his game, post good numbers, and re-establish himself as a "crease beast," avoiding the sophomore curse in the process.

In 2008-09, Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Steve Mason took the NHL by storm, posting a 33-20-7 rec ...

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