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Jimmy Howard watch thread

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I would counter your argument with the fact that while the Wings D is not up to par like it typically is, it's still the Wings and the defense is still better than most teams around the league, yet Howard still has very average numbers. So, by that logic, if Howard played on an average team, he'd be absolutely horrendous, wouldn't he?

The defense does break down and I went on a rant about this about a month or so only to be ridiculed by those saying that we are second in the league, so why am I focused on the defense? Well, in the playoffs we will not be scoring 4 goals a game. But if we have a goalie that allows soft goals, not control rebounds whatsoever, and the defense continues to try to puck handle in their own zone instead of dumping it out safe, we are in SERIOUS trouble.

I just ask Howard to make the stops he should make, and control rebounds. In the NHL this is not too much to ask. But howard doesn't do this. I think the pressure is getting to him, honestly. With all this said, I do think Howard needs to start the playoffs, and see how he fairs. If he blows a series for us, well, at least we know where he stands.

Well, according to the stats the Wings defense is only better than roughly 50% of the teams around the league, so no, it's not better than most of the teams in the league. Saying "well, it's the Wings" isn't an argument, it's a homer line.

The rest is honestly funny. Howard makes no key stops and doesn't control rebounds? I'd say he has trouble with rebounds sometimes but to act like all he does is give up rebounds is ridiculous.

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Well, according to the stats the Wings defense is only better than roughly 50% of the teams around the league, so no, it's not better than most of the teams in the league. Saying "well, it's the Wings" isn't an argument, it's a homer line.

So if a goalie has a "good" year on an above average team, and a "bad" year on an average team, what does that mean? That the defense was making him look better than he really is.

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Howard has been mediocre all year. He has some flashes of brilliance and then offsetting flashes of bad. It all averages out to him being mediocre. Yes the defense hasn't been great. But be honest to yourself here. What separates mediocre goalies from the elite goalies? The elite ones make those saves that they had no chance too. The elite goalies steal multiple games a year by standing on their head and making what should be impossible saves. That's why they get paid the big bucks.

Howard gets paid what, a little over 2 mil a year? He shouldn't be expected to be anything other than mediocre when we're getting him so cheaply. The problem comes when one side makes Howard out to be the greatest goalie in the league and the other side makes him out to be the worst goalie in the league. He's neither extreme. He's average.

That being said, at this point I'd rather see Macdonald get the majority of the next few games. He's really played well the last few outtings. Howard hasn't earned the starting job.

This guy really makes sense. Now we can restart the thread in the playoffs when ... well you know...

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The problem for Howard is teams know how to beat him. They know his weaknesses (rebounds), so the gameplan to beat Detroit is to get a shot on net and drive to the net for any loose pucks.

Howard is going to have to adjust or he will never rebound (pun!).

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And he'll remain unproven and untested unless you start him. The playoffs are his and they ought to be.

Just because?

Howard has been wildly inconsistent all year, with extended stretches of poor play. This is more noticeable because the Wings have been only average defensively, and have not been a team which can account for their goaltender's weaknesses and protect against them.

If MacDonald plays a good number of the remaining games and looks great while Howard looks like crap, or if Ozzie comes back and looks great and Howard isn't getting it together, there's no reason Babcock "has" to start Howard.

Starting a guy in the playoffs just because he's the guy you had intended to start way back when doesn't get you anywhere. In 1994, Bob Essensa was started in the playoffs despite the fact a rookie Osgood reclaimed the starting job and was playing more regular season games than Essensa - after having already won it from Cheveldae. You start the guy who is most likely to lead you to victory.

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Frankly, I don't care if we turn back into the platooning days of Hasek/Osgood of 07-08. If we have to platoon Howard and MacDonald until we generate some wins from the goaltending department, then so be it.

Someone used to have a sig that said The Revolving Goal of Detroit. Those days may be back sooner than you think.

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Just because?

Howard has been wildly inconsistent all year, with extended stretches of poor play. This is more noticeable because the Wings have been only average defensively, and have not been a team which can account for their goaltender's weaknesses and protect against them.

If MacDonald plays a good number of the remaining games and looks great while Howard looks like crap, or if Ozzie comes back and looks great and Howard isn't getting it together, there's no reason Babcock "has" to start Howard.

Starting a guy in the playoffs just because he's the guy you had intended to start way back when doesn't get you anywhere. In 1994, Bob Essensa was started in the playoffs despite the fact a rookie Osgood reclaimed the starting job and was playing more regular season games than Essensa - after having already won it from Cheveldae. You start the guy who is most likely to lead you to victory.

MacDonald is an AHL goalie with zero playoff experience. That's why you start Howard. This team will lose if MacDonald is their playoff goalie. MacDonald has been a solid backup this season. Some people are trying to make him out to be more than what he is. It's the Conklin situation all over again.

It's more than Howard. This whole team has been wildly inconsistent this year. Your goaltending will suffer if your defense is hanging him out to dry night after night.

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Howard was good last night. Team let him down.

:scared: *GASP* :scared:

Say it isn't so! The team let him down? No way!

You might not want to say something like that because it just upsets the Howard haters.

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Howard was good last night. Team let him down.

wow one good game every 10 games? Even Daniel Larsson is still better than this guy.

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MacDonald is an AHL goalie with zero playoff experience. That's why you start Howard. This team will lose if MacDonald is their playoff goalie. MacDonald has been a solid backup this season. Some people are trying to make him out to be more than what he is. It's the Conklin situation all over again.

It's more than Howard. This whole team has been wildly inconsistent this year. Your goaltending will suffer if your defense is hanging him out to dry night after night.

Just for clarification Conklin didn't play in the playoffs because he choked down the stretch when Babcock challeneged him and Osgood to step up to take the starting job for the playoffs. Not simply because he had little playoff experience.

But I agree that Howard should start. He is our #1 and we just gotta hope he gets into form.

Nightfall: You are really reaching when it comes to Howard "haters". It is more people who think Howard is not playing well who are arguing with people who think Howard is playing well. However since this is LGW people have to take things to their extremes and say "ZOMG YOU ARE A HOMER/HATER GTFO STUPID!"

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wow one good game every 10 games? Even Daniel Larsson is still better than this guy.

Oh now you've done it

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Jimmy Howard is a very streaky goaltender. I don't know how he will play in the playoffs. From last season he had his awesome games where he would make amazing saves with only 1 or 2 goals let in. Some games he was allowing a bunch of goals in, which was ridiculous. I am not blaming this seasons horrible goals against ALL on Howard or Detroit's lazy play/late game awakenings. I also believe our defense isn't very good. I think Detroit's defense is not physical enough at all. Brad Stuart is the only guy who will get in front of a puck, make a big hit, or rough up the opposition. All our other defensive are to offensive, small, or lazy. Detroit in the off season needs to add more depth on defense. Add some younger, big, and physical defense men. Get rid of Jonathan Erricsson. He has play awful this year and last year. I know Lidstrom will probably play if he gets a big enough contract again. I know he is the best defense guy ever but danm... sign him at 1 or 2 million at the most. I also don't know why mickey and Ken keep saying kindle is play so awsome either. He also has played like s***. I don't know what great plays they see from him. ALSO GET A NEW DEFENSIVE COACH. So once again Howard is an average goalie. With better defense he is good enough.

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Howard's been playing well lately sans one game. He's getting his game back together at the right time. It could all fall apart in the playoffs under the pressure, sure, but it's a total unknown right now. Based on how he's playing lately, we've got reason to be confident in him. He was lackluster in the post-season last year but it was his first outing. This will be another chance and you have to believe he's learned a lot about adversity this season as he blatantly struggled quite a bit down the stretch.

I feel about as good as you can with any second year goalie heading into the playoffs. It'll be a make it or break it experience for him most likely. If he struggles as he did in last years playoffs or even worse, as he did earlier in the season, he'll be a backup at best the next two years. But it's more likely that he'll be trade fodder as we don't have anyone else that's really ready to step in.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Right now, he's playing well. He's going in this year with a bit of a better idea as to what the pressure is like. While I can't say that I have supreme confidence in him, I'm not doubting him right now either. I really believe that the only reasonable position right now is "wait and see." Time will tell, but in the meantime, no reason not to be supportive and at least somewhat optimistic about his potential.

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And by saying that Howard's playing "well" lately, I don't mean "great," though he's had a lot more great moments than he did earlier in the season. I'm not just trying to be blindly supportive of the guy, but the reality of the matter is that he is playing fairly well recently and giving this team more than a fair chance to win games. There is a big difference between his recent play and his play through February. And let's face it, when the rest of this team is doing their job, we don't need the goalie to be great every night. If Howard can keep playing well enough to give the guys a more than fair chance at winning, and he can do it in the playoffs, he'll have a long career here in Detroit, hopefully with reasonable cap hits the whole way through, and I'll be more than fine with that. I'd much rather have a more balanced team than a goalie with an $8 million cap hit.

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MacDonald is an AHL goalie with zero playoff experience. That's why you start Howard. This team will lose if MacDonald is their playoff goalie. MacDonald has been a solid backup this season. Some people are trying to make him out to be more than what he is. It's the Conklin situation all over again.

It's more than Howard. This whole team has been wildly inconsistent this year. Your goaltending will suffer if your defense is hanging him out to dry night after night.

You should change your user name to Howard He Don't Do It.

Although the defense has been subpar, I don't think they're leaving him out to dry anymore than other teams are with their netminders. He's near last in the league in GAA and save % for starting goalies. I don't think our defense is the "worst" in hockey, to deserve those numbers. Last year there wasn't much pressure on him, so he did well. However, this season, he's shown that he can't handle the pressure of being the goalie in Hockeytown.

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You should change your user name to Howard He Don't Do It.

Although the defense has been subpar, I don't think they're leaving him out to dry anymore than other teams are with their netminders. He's near last in the league in GAA and save % for starting goalies. I don't think our defense is the "worst" in hockey, to deserve those numbers. Last year there wasn't much pressure on him, so he did well. However, this season, he's shown that he can't handle the pressure of being the goalie in Hockeytown.

This post is just further proof that according to some Wings fans no goalie is good enough to goaltend in Detroit.

Edited by Nightfall
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This post is just further proof that according to some Wings fans no goalie is good enough to goaltend in Detroit.

It's more like proof that posts can be easily dismissed by some people.

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You should change your user name to Howard He Don't Do It.

Although the defense has been subpar, I don't think they're leaving him out to dry anymore than other teams are with their netminders. He's near last in the league in GAA and save % for starting goalies. I don't think our defense is the "worst" in hockey, to deserve those numbers. Last year there wasn't much pressure on him, so he did well. However, this season, he's shown that he can't handle the pressure of being the goalie in Hockeytown.

Great post, I get really sick of hearing about how awful our defense is. I mean it certainly isn't the best in the league, but they make it sound like we have an AHL defense out there. Every defense makes mistakes, gives the puck up, and fails to cover a man every once in a while. I just don't see how so many can assign basically all the blame on the defense and non on the goaltending.

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It's more like proof that posts can be easily dismissed by some people.

Goaltending is always going to be a question mark to people in Detroit. You name any goalie in our last 4 cup championship teams, and all of them have been under the magnifying glass. Even after they win a cup, no respect is given to them. This is the way it is always going to be in Detroit. Even last year when Howard was solid in net and helping us get into the playoffs, people here and other Wings fans I know never gave him any credit. Today, its no different. If Howard plays amazing, it is what he is supposed to do. Anything less, and its horrible. Being as that no goalie plays at that high of a level every game, there is no goalie who is good enough to goaltend in Detroit.

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Goaltending is always going to be a question mark to people in Detroit. You name any goalie in our last 4 cup championship teams, and all of them have been under the magnifying glass. Even after they win a cup, no respect is given to them. This is the way it is always going to be in Detroit. Even last year when Howard was solid in net and helping us get into the playoffs, people here and other Wings fans I know never gave him any credit. Today, its no different. If Howard plays amazing, it is what he is supposed to do. Anything less, and its horrible. Being as that no goalie plays at that high of a level every game, there is no goalie who is good enough to goaltend in Detroit.

Are you kidding me? Who wasn't giving Howard credit last year? I don't recall anyone who said much of anything other than he was just about the only reason we even made the playoffs. At most, there were people critiquing certain elements of his game that were problematic. Rebound control has always been an issue that gets attention and he had a tendency of having rather glaring bad games every 5-6 starts, though the other starts tended to be a good to great efforts. but that was about the extent of it. I really don't think anyone knocked Howard's play last year during the regular season and he didn't get the Calder nomination by accident.

That said, once the playoffs kicked in, he took a lot of flack, but that's to be expected when you set such a high standard for your play during the regular season and then you don't even come close to playing at that level in the playoffs when you're really supposed to be elevating your game. And aside from just a generally lackluster performance, he gave up too many soft goals at inopportune times and too many fast back to back goals early on in games. The same type of play got Hasek pulled in 2008.

So of course the fans are going to be upset and doubtful over the summer. Playoffs are everything. If you don't have it in the playoffs, it doesn't matter what you can do in the regular season. That's why this year is so important for him.

And then when you look at this year, there's little you can say to really dispute people who are skeptical. I'm honestly optimistic right now given the last few weeks as I outlined before, and I really would like to see the guy have a successful outing this year, but realistically, I can't make an objective argument to suggest that people are wrong to have concerns heading into the playoffs. He had a rough year any way you shake it, a rough first playoff experience, and it's far too easy (and historically you're far more likely...) to join the rookie year wonder club for goalies. And again, let's not forget that it took him longer to get here at all because he was slow to develop and only got a shot because Detroit was out of minor league options for him.

So again, you can't really sit here and say that no one gave him any credit last year because that is so far from the truth, and you can't completely blame those who are skeptical of him given the way things have progressed over time. At this point, I'm with you in thinking that there's a fair amount to be excited about and I really do like his chances of excelling in this post-season. I think he's bring his game up at the right time and so long as he keeps improving, he's going to be in a real good spot for game 1 of round 1.

If he can battle through the pressure and elevate his game, he'll be successful when it counts, and trust me, you won't be needing to defend him for awhile. In the meantime, I wouldn't pay too much mind to those doubting; they've got objective reasons to be concerned. Just give it time. We'll know a lot by game 4. And by game 5, I think he'll either be in and playing well, or on the bench and on his way to being traded. I don't see a lot of in-between. If he blows it, I don't see the Wings wasting time hoping he'll get it right the 3rd time. He's got a contract that'll be really easy to slide into a deal for a new goalie.

But he's also got the potential to be great, and I think and hope he will be.

Either way, there's little we really know until we get there.

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Great post, I get really sick of hearing about how awful our defense is. I mean it certainly isn't the best in the league, but they make it sound like we have an AHL defense out there. Every defense makes mistakes, gives the puck up, and fails to cover a man every once in a while. I just don't see how so many can assign basically all the blame on the defense and non on the goaltending.

It goes both ways. In terms of the goaltending, the defense was just as bad if not worse last year and Howard played great despite it, so this year when he struggles, it's really tough to just sit around and blame the defense. He was making all the big saves last year, and he wasn't making them this year. His issues became more glaring and his tendencies more exposed, allowing guys to better figure out how to beat him. So I'm with you there.

But the other reality of the matter is that our defense underachieves big time as well.

Sure, other teams have their fair share of defensive issues, but they also don't have near as strong of a group of guys as we do. There's no excuse for how poorly they've played since we last won the Cup because nearly the same group proved game in and game out for a couple years that they were about the best defensive group in the league. They should just be improving as the younger guys mature. Hell, we didn't even have to deal with Lebda this year!

Plain and simple, the defense has been mediocre through 3 regular seasons now. Howard played great to battle through it last year. This year, Howard hasn't played as great so he couldn't battle through it in such a strong manner. This is simple. Why anyone continues to try and blame either the goalies or the defense more than the other this year is way beyond me.

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:scared: *GASP* :scared:

Say it isn't so! The team let him down? No way!

You might not want to say something like that because it just upsets the Howard haters.

Why is it anyone that questions Howard hates him? I have no reason to hate Howard or root against him - it doesn't benefit me to see him stink it up in goal for the team I want to win.

Sure, the team has let him down on many nights this season but Jimmy deserves plenty of blame too. He has been mediocre at best all season and his stats in goal confirm this. The defense stunk last year too and Howard was able to bail the team out on many occasions. He isn't even giving them a chance to win some nights (the Pittsburgh game). He doesn't have to be Carey Price or Pekka Rinne but unless Jimmy Howard steps up his game in goal, the Red Wings will be lucky to win a playoff round. He's the weakest goalie of any playoff contending team in the West.

Edited by GoWings1905

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You should change your user name to Howard He Don't Do It.

Although the defense has been subpar, I don't think they're leaving him out to dry anymore than other teams are with their netminders. He's near last in the league in GAA and save % for starting goalies. I don't think our defense is the "worst" in hockey, to deserve those numbers. Last year there wasn't much pressure on him, so he did well. However, this season, he's shown that he can't handle the pressure of being the goalie in Hockeytown.

He's also tied for first in the league in wins.

Yeesh. Some people here...

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He's also tied for first in the league in wins.

Yeesh. Some people here...

That's a reflection on the Red Wings offense, not on Jimmy Howard's play in goal. Nashville wins because of Pekka Rinne, the Red Wings win because of their firepower up front. There are very few, if any, starting NHL calibre goalies that wouldn't have the same number of wins as Jimmy with that talent in front of them on offense.

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