The Panthers young gun forward discusses his first couple of weeks with the Cats after being called up, the transition from juniors, the need for new clothes and more.
Your first game of the season, you scored your first NHL goal in Tampa Bay and then went on had a four-game point streak. That’s not a bad start for you.
Howden - Yeah. I didn't expect it. I'll take the goals any way I can get them and try to help the team be successful. I'm just trying to fit in and earn a spot. If I can help the team in those ways by scoring goals then that's what I'll try to do.
Go back to that game in Tampa. They scored to tie the game and you scored on the very next shift. Just seeing the expression on your face after you found out it went in, what did that feel like scoring your first NHL goal?
Howden - I think the biggest thing was getting the momentum back in the game. I didn't even know it went in to be honest. You can see my expression. I didn't know I had scored until I was behind the net. It's funny how it works. You have all those opportunities the previous year, better opportunities, but that's the one that goes in. It really is funny how it works but I'll take it.
How many calls and texts did you receive after that game?
Howden - I had a lot of calls and a lot of support from back home. My close family was really happy for me as well as everyone in my little town back home outside of Winnipeg. There were a lot of people that were really excited for me.
You’re in your second year playing professional hockey, what's the transition been like for you from the juniors?
Howden - I didn't really think it would be this big of a difference. You come out of juniors and you want to take that next leap and be right in the NHL but it doesn’t always happen that way. Honestly, looking back I've learned so much. My game has really changed. I've had fun with it.
In saying that, I've been excited about this opportunity to get called up and hopefully I can make the most of it while I’m here.
How has your game changed?
Howden - It's just the little things I think. Whether it's getting in on the forecheck, getting a stick on the puck, blocking shots, all of those little things come into play. Whether you're getting the points or not, you're helping the team win if you’re doing the little things and that's what I'm all about.
Looking at the locker room, what is it like playing with so many young guys who were drafted by Dale Tallon and with whom you've grown up with?
Howden - It's awesome. I've known all of these guys from Day 1. It seems like forever since I was drafted but it's been fun. Playing with all of the young guys down in San Antonio and then coming up with them, it makes it much more comfortable. We're all great friends. It all kind of helps us buy in and helps us on the ice too.
|Howden battles for the puck against the Canucks at BB&T Center (Getty Images).|
Jimmy Hayes would like to know who your favorite Young Gun is.
Howden - Jimmy is an alright guy. I'm still getting to know him. (And then with Hayes interjecting)…Jimmy is a great guy.
You have an off day. How are you spending it?
Howden – I’m probably going to find some clothes. I didn't have many clothes when I came up. We were on the road so I’m probably going to find some shorts and shirts. I’m also just relaxing and getting ready for the next game.
Do you have any favorite spots to eat?
Howden – I don’t really have any favorites. I love my steaks so I just try to find a good steakhouse. I change it up and try to find different spots so any suggestions and I'll take them.
Any favorite TV shows that you're into these days?
Howden - I'm watching Suits live currently. I'm big into that and there’s a new TV show out called Arrow and I'm following that closely as well.
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