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Don't blame Howard.. blame Babcock

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Detroit Red Wings' goalie situation tied to Mike Babcock

I totally agree.

Babcock eliminated the term 'backup'

Now, there is none.

Thanks Mike.

I really have mixed feelings on this. The way that he handled the goaltenders was bad. But we did have to make the playoffs. He basically gambled and lost.

If we finished out of the playoffs, and had two goaltenders going strong, who would that have helped?

Still the fact that Osgood didn't get games against teams like Edmonton is inexcusable. I really wonder what will happen to Osgood next season. I wouldn't blame him if he asked for a trade. His career is almost done and I'm sure he wants to play.

I do disagree about absolving Howard of blame though. The fact that Babcock screwed things up doesn't give Howard a free pass.

Edited by Zetts

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Can't say I agree. This was Jimmys year. Ozzie has played a major role this year, it just wasn't on the ice. He has talked to Jimmy, given him advice on what to do and what not to do.

This year was about bringing Jimmy in, getting him used to the NHL. And what does he do? He outplays Ozzie. That's the reason he became the starter. Would we be in the same situation we are now? No one will ever know.

I think that people need to cool down and realize that we are NOT going to win the cup every year. like I said in another thread last night, if we were winning 7-6 or 7-5 every night, but Jimmy was playing like s***, no one would be complaining because we are winning. Now that we are losing, you all point to the rookie goalie. Get it through your heads that this is a TEAM game. The WHOLE team has let everyone down, not just Jimmy.

mjlegend likes this

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Just read this article a few minutes ago. I totally agree. I understand the Wings had to win games down the stretch just to get in and then to improve their position in the playoffs, but its when the whole "ride Howard" thing really started that bothers me. There was a period in the season when the Wings were losing games no matter who was in goal and it really just mattered if the injury-hampered Wings had brought enough offense that night. This was the period when the Wings should have been having a rotation. Because of the drama between Babcock and Osgood, Ozzie was essentially shelved in December. There were periods when Howard seemed too cool off a great deal and a perfect time to get Osgood some games and rest the kid, Babcock refused. Coming out of the Olympic break, with a team refreshed, Babcock again had a chance to get a reasonable rotation going, but refused.

Howard was able to play above his ability and steal some games down the stretch which every Red Wings fan should be grateful as hell for. But now that Howard has cooled off (like he had throughout the season) and is playing more like a rookie (which is understandable) we are without a backup fit to relieve him. The thing that angers me most about this is that of all the teams in the West, Detroit should have ZERO excuse for goaltending as their backup Osgood (or so he was before being "retired" by Babcock) is not only the lone goaltender in the West with ANY kind of post-season success, but has two Stanley Cup rings as a starter, one actually coming in relief. Babcock wasted an asset plain and simple, and now the Wings are on the brink.

Edited by b.shanafan14
dobbles likes this

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There was no way babcock could have played osgood when howard was playing that many games. The wings could not win with ozzie in net, and his record and stats proved it. They needed a push to make it into the playoffs, and howard played lights out all season. (You don't get nominated for a calder for nothing)

Howard even played good against phoenix, but yes, he is capable of letting in terrible goals but I guess he makes up for it with his phenominal saves other times. Howard has just had a bad series, and im sure the pressure of the playoffs and fatigue has caught up to him.

I don't think anyone is to blame here, it's just a s***ty situation that turned out to be bad.

Hockeymom1960 likes this

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While I wish Osgood could have played more over time, Howard has rarely been the main problem of playoff losses, and only real bad game was the last one. Switching to Osgood probably would not have changed much.

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There was no way babcock could have played osgood when howard was playing that many games. The wings could not win with ozzie in net, and his record and stats proved it. They needed a push to make it into the playoffs, and howard played lights out all season. (You don't get nominated for a calder for nothing)

Howard even played good against phoenix, but yes, he is capable of letting in terrible goals but I guess he makes up for it with his phenominal saves other times. Howard has just had a bad series, and im sure the pressure of the playoffs and fatigue has caught up to him.

I don't think anyone is to blame here, it's just a s***ty situation that turned out to be bad.

Note the bolded portion. The funny thing is that exact same thing is usually said about Osgood, but usually in the opposite order (meaning, "He'll make great saves and then let in terrible goals!").

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Disagree completely. Typical fan perspective and riding the blame train after the second guessing.

No one can win this debate. Should Osgood have played more? Probably. Did Howard deserve all his starts? Probably.

It's a fine line that people will stand on either side and throw things at one other claiming they "know better".

No one knows the relationship between Osgood and Babcock. And it doesn't matter. Howard is not the reason for the struggles of the Wings. Relying on a goaltender making $800,000 to steal games and make more then 40 saves a game is not a realistic expectation. The Red Wings need to get back to their game of controlling the puck and drawing the penalties rather then being on the defensive. We didn't put our resources into having a 8 million dollar goalie like Ryan Miller play lights out every game in the playoffs and never give up a bad goal. The plan for this team is to control the play and only have to rely on Howard making 20-30 saves, and that's not happening.

Blame the players in front of the goalie for once Detroit.

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I agree completely. Babcock made it sink or swim with Jimmy, which may may have very well just ended the Red Wings season. I'm by no means blaming everything on Howard, but he lost the Red Wings game three letting in an absolutely awful goal at the worst time. Babcock's defense of Jimmy after the game was sickening too. "The team has to pick up the goalie sometimes and we couldn't do it." Uhh... the offense has scored three goals in every game Mike and pretty much bailed out Jimmy in every win of the Phoenix series besides Game 4.

I like Jimmy Howard and am thankful for everything he did for the Red Wings during the regular season, but he has been mediocre at best during the playoffs. There were a bunch of here that said during the regular season (especially toward the end) that it would be of the Red Wings best interest to get Ozzie some starts down the stretch, just in case Jimmy couldn't handle the heat of the playoffs. There's no doubt in my mind that a less rusty Chris Osgood would have this series at least 2-1 right now or maybe even 2-1 in the Wings favor.

I'm not mad at Howard, although he needs to make some clutch saves tonight and however many more games the Red Wings are around. Babcock blew the goaltending situation this season and at this point I can't convince myself that most of it doesn't stem from his personal grudge with Ozzie. Chris Osgood should have been ready to step in during the playoffs plain and simple because Jimmy Howard right now is not getting the job done despite what his favorite cheerleader says.

VikingMark likes this

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Disagree completely. Typical fan perspective and riding the blame train after the second guessing.

No one can win this debate. Should Osgood have played more? Probably. Did Howard deserve all his starts? Probably.

It's a fine line that people will stand on either side and throw things at one other claiming they "know better".

No one knows the relationship between Osgood and Babcock. And it doesn't matter. Howard is not the reason for the struggles of the Wings. Relying on a goaltender making $800,000 to steal games and make more then 40 saves a game is not a realistic expectation. The Red Wings need to get back to their game of controlling the puck and drawing the penalties rather then being on the defensive. We didn't put our resources into having a 8 million dollar goalie like Ryan Miller play lights out every game in the playoffs and never give up a bad goal. The plan for this team is to control the play and only have to rely on Howard making 20-30 saves, and that's not happening.

Blame the players in front of the goalie for once Detroit.

Agreed. For years it was always, 'the goalie's fault'. Now apparently, a failure will be 'the coach's fault'. We had to win those games to even get into the playoffs. I haven't even read the article, but from the replies I can deduce that the writer wasn't typing up his article while we were tearing through February and March.

We've all established that not every year is a championship year. I think many of us had accepted that the likelihood of this being one was fairly slim. Sure, Howie has let in some soft goals here or there, but he needs it - to galvanize him for the future.

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Cmon blaming Babcock really??? He had no choice with the way Ozzie was playing we had to accumulate each point we could get during the regular season just to be here... And Howard was our only choice to get those points... Yes Howard has been BAD but Howard has to make the saves not Babcock

Edited by Rockitman

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Disagree completely. Typical fan perspective and riding the blame train after the second guessing.

No one can win this debate. Should Osgood have played more? Probably. Did Howard deserve all his starts? Probably.

It's a fine line that people will stand on either side and throw things at one other claiming they "know better".

No one knows the relationship between Osgood and Babcock. And it doesn't matter. Howard is not the reason for the struggles of the Wings. Relying on a goaltender making $800,000 to steal games and make more then 40 saves a game is not a realistic expectation. The Red Wings need to get back to their game of controlling the puck and drawing the penalties rather then being on the defensive. We didn't put our resources into having a 8 million dollar goalie like Ryan Miller play lights out every game in the playoffs and never give up a bad goal. The plan for this team is to control the play and only have to rely on Howard making 20-30 saves, and that's not happening.

Blame the players in front of the goalie for once Detroit.

Nicely stated.

Howard obviously doesn't get exempted from a share of the blame, but this team down the stretch was fighting tooth and nail for a playoff spot and he did little/nothing to justify getting taken out for a consistent period of time. Definitely not Howard's fault solely and, all things remaining the same this playoff series, I highly doubt putting in Osgood would've resulted in much difference, if any as I stated above. Howard cannot control awful officiating and his defense breaking down in front of him.

Whether that was fair or not to Osgood during the regular season is entirely subjective. I definitely wish he could have played a few more games but I understand the situation and Babcock's line of thought, whether we think he and Osgood get along or do not. We do not know and will never know. Don't fully agree with him but I hardly come close to fulling blaming him either.

It's nobody's fault 100% like mentioned above, just a crappy situation to be in to where we didn't have the luxury to have both goalies have the same amount of starts roughly because we didn't wrap up a postseason birth by the new year yet.

Edited by SouthernWingsFan

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Detroit Red Wings' goalie situation tied to Mike Babcock

I totally agree.

Babcock eliminated the term 'backup'

Now, there is none.

Thanks Mike.

Good God. Please keep in mind who wrote the article. Art Regner. The guy has never displayed a shred of insight into the Wings or the workings of the NHL. He's nothing more than a loudmouth fan with a radio gig, and his opinion is no more authoritative than that of anyone who posts on LGW.

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Disagree completely. Typical fan perspective and riding the blame train after the second guessing.

No one can win this debate. Should Osgood have played more? Probably. Did Howard deserve all his starts? Probably.

It's a fine line that people will stand on either side and throw things at one other claiming they "know better".

No one knows the relationship between Osgood and Babcock. And it doesn't matter. Howard is not the reason for the struggles of the Wings. Relying on a goaltender making $800,000 to steal games and make more then 40 saves a game is not a realistic expectation. The Red Wings need to get back to their game of controlling the puck and drawing the penalties rather then being on the defensive. We didn't put our resources into having a 8 million dollar goalie like Ryan Miller play lights out every game in the playoffs and never give up a bad goal. The plan for this team is to control the play and only have to rely on Howard making 20-30 saves, and that's not happening.

Blame the players in front of the goalie for once Detroit.

Agree 100% :thumbup:

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I completely agree with this in the goalie side of things. Babcock has made the team totally dependent on Howard the entire season, he pretty much refused to give Osgood a chance to play, one game here or there is no way to prove yourself. What would have happened if Howard was hurt and unable to play late in the season? They'd put Ozzie in and hope for the best but blame him if we didn't make the playoffs. I know that Osgood is doing a great job mentoring Howard and I'm sure it's appreciated, both of them know how important he is in that process. He's dealt with a lot of criticism and adversity over the years but doesn't let that shake him.

Yes this is a team sport so the entire team is responsible for the terrible play of late, so we don't really know what would have happen if Ozzie was given more chances to play during the season. What's done is done for this season. It will be interesting to see what happens next season, I don't think Osgood wants to leave Detroit, but if he's not going to be played he deserves better than a season of watching the games from the locker room. I sure hope that he and Babcock can resolve whatever issues they are having with each other because this seem like it's more than just poor play. Osgood was never give a real chance to prove himself this season.

GoWings1905 likes this

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I understand everyone wants to point the finger at Babs, or Howard, or Ozzie. What is mind boggling to me is that Howard is getting a free ride with a 4.00 gaa in this series. Has anyone told him that this is the playoffs and you have to step up your game? I know the Wings D-core isn't quite what it was two years ago, however, in Detroit, this is unacceptable. If anyone can recall from earlier on this season, Ozzie actually was playing well with a sv% above .900 before the Toronto game when he came down with the flu bug. Playing once a month and zero home games since before Christmas is not going to help anyone's numbers. Our playoff bread and butter is watching from the bench??? If this happened to Chevaldae,Vernon,Joseph,Legace,Hasek, or Ozzie, the change would have been made in previous years. With the salary cap era in effect, Isn't it about winning now, because tomorrow may not come for a long time with parity in the NHL? I think based on the last two playoff runs, Chris Osgood has earned a shot. Just not sure if Jimmy has what it takes to handle the pressure of being a goaltender in Detroit.

Edited by Bulls Tender
VikingMark likes this

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I really have mixed feelings on this. The way that he handled the goaltenders was bad. But we did have to make the playoffs. He basically gambled and lost.

If we finished out of the playoffs, and had two goaltenders going strong, who would that have helped?

Still the fact that Osgood didn't get games against teams like Edmonton is inexcusable. I really wonder what will happen to Osgood next season. I wouldn't blame him if he asked for a trade. His career is almost done and I'm sure he wants to play.

I do disagree about absolving Howard of blame though. The fact that Babcock screwed things up doesn't give Howard a free pass.

I agree completely. Its easy to point the finger now, but what would people be saying if Babs had played Osgood in more games, and we didn't end up in a playoff spot?

I also agree with the part on Howard. You can't blame Babs for Howard letting in too many soft, simple goals in these playoffs. Sure he's been great, sure he's been huge, but the fact that he didn't get rest at the end of the season is not an excuse for some of the softies.

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Detroit Red Wings' goalie situation tied to Mike Babcock

I totally agree.

Babcock eliminated the term 'backup'

Now, there is none.

Thanks Mike.

Give me a break. Making the playoffs had to be our primary concern this season, and Osgood has been totally unreliable for the past two regular seasons. If you're a coach with a team that is fighting for a playoff spot, you go with the hot goaltender. PERIOD. Howard is the #1 reason we got into the playoffs. We couldn't spare two points anywhere. At first getting into the playoffs was the concern---do you remember how late we clinched a spot?---and then getting a good seed was the concern. Osgood got one game. He screwed up. There wasn't any room to play him again. With all the success the Wings have had over the last two decades, it's easy to forget that the team actually had to fight to get into the playoffs this year. If Babcock wanted the team to make the playoffs at all, he needed to play the hot goaltender, and making the playoffs---which is, of course, the first priority---was a close thing this year. There simply wasn't any room for doubt.

Like so many others here, you're just looking for someone to blame. I actually feel ashamed at how fickle and lacking in fortitude so many of you are.

Edited by Crymson

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Disagree completely. Typical fan perspective and riding the blame train after the second guessing.

No one can win this debate. Should Osgood have played more? Probably. Did Howard deserve all his starts? Probably.

It's a fine line that people will stand on either side and throw things at one other claiming they "know better".

No one knows the relationship between Osgood and Babcock. And it doesn't matter. Howard is not the reason for the struggles of the Wings. Relying on a goaltender making $800,000 to steal games and make more then 40 saves a game is not a realistic expectation. The Red Wings need to get back to their game of controlling the puck and drawing the penalties rather then being on the defensive. We didn't put our resources into having a 8 million dollar goalie like Ryan Miller play lights out every game in the playoffs and never give up a bad goal. The plan for this team is to control the play and only have to rely on Howard making 20-30 saves, and that's not happening.

Blame the players in front of the goalie for once Detroit.

I can't believe I'm saying this to the king of bad reputation, but +1. Hahaha

In all seriousness though I completely agree.

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So its Babcock's fault that Ozzie has been completely unreliable this season? And I assume that it would also be Babcock's fault if he gave Ozzie the time to improve (assuming he would approve that is), and destroyed the team's playoff hopes while he was at it.

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Osgood should have played more.

We already had a playoff spot in the bag with more than a week to go, and we knew we weren't getting home ice.

Instead of riding Howard to become a 5 seed (even though we didn't know who we were facing), Babcock should have looked at the big picture and seen that Howard would need some rest.

Bradster1984 likes this

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Osgood should have played more.

We already had a playoff spot in the bag with more than a week to go, and we knew we weren't getting home ice.

Instead of riding Howard to become a 5 seed (even though we didn't know who we were facing), Babcock should have looked at the big picture and seen that Howard would need some rest.

Do you know of any coach who would (or has) let their star goalie ride the bench when playoff seeding was on the line?

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Do you know of any coach who would (or has) let their star goalie ride the bench when playoff seeding was on the line?

In this case an exception should have been made, because Howard already played so much.

A playoff run was more important than playoff seeding, especially since we already had a spot basically clinched.

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Why do people refuse to believe that our D has been terrible agaisnt SJ? It has been lack luster all year. They turn the puck over ALL the time in their own end. Good teams kill you on that. Plus how many times are goals scored from a player just hanging out in front of the net all alone with no one near him, while the D man is standing around like a dips***?

I love Lids but this team has NO intensity and our D core is no longer a strength on this team.

We are losing because we are playing a team that is more determined and more skilled on D.

Id trade any of our D men for Boyle right now.

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In this case an exception should have been made, because Howard already played so much.

A playoff run was more important than playoff seeding, especially since we already had a spot basically clinched.

Are you aware of how many #1 goaltenders play a huge number of games in the regular season? And I'll repeat what I asked, because you didn't answer it: do you know of any coaches who would rest their goalies when seeding for playoff matchups was on the line?

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