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Jimmy Howard Saving His Smile For June

Following Wednesday's series-clinching victory for the Red Wings over the Coyotes, Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard was asked in a postgame interview why he hadn't cracked a smile. After all, Howard had plenty of reasons to be happy. He played outstanding during the series against the Coyotes and helped the Red Wings pull off the lone sweep of the first round of the 2011 NHL playoffs.

The reason Howard was reluctant to smile is because he views the series sweep of the Coyotes as merely the first step toward a bigger goal: winning the Stanley Cup. While he and the rest of the Wings deserve to take in their impressive first-round performance for a couple days, they can't lose focus on the ultimate prize at hand.

The Wings are a veteran group of players, so it's not expected they will lose their focus. That group includes Howard, by the way. He may technically only be in his second season and he does only have three playoff series under his belt, but he was speaking with a veteran's mindset after Wednesday's game.

Responding to the aforementioned question about why he hadn't smiled much, he said, "I'll smile in June." If things go according to plan, everybody wearing the Winged Wheel will be smiling in June following another Stanley Cup championship. (Video of Howard's interview is after the jump.)