G, Detroit Red Wings
His four years of solid if unspectacular apprenticeship in Grand Rapids left few Wings fans believing that Howard would make much of his first real shot at NHL employment. The early results did little to assuage their concerns, but by December he'd replaced Chris Osgood as the team's No. 1 stopper. His poise under intense fire allowed a struggling team to bend without breaking and remain in the playoff hunt. Though he's struggled since returning from the Olympic break, Howard heads into the stretch as the leading candidate for the Calder.