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Wings' Goaltending Situation

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Somewhere in between on J-HO. I have his jersey, I am a fan... But yes he didn't play as well as he should have against San Jose, but neither did the team. They were out of gas, and yes his rebound control would be an area of improvement. He at times makes saves look harder than they should, but with out the confidence that Hasek displayed in similar situations.

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I would like to see a good back and forth, Howard getting about 40+, Osgood getting 30+. Both have had flashes of greatness and moments of you putting your face in your hands and cursing their name, but thats hockey. To me last year Howard shown us that he could be the number one guy. So I have good faith that they can get it done.

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I thought the Wings article in the GR Press a few nights ago a little strange. It listed a roster of 15 forwards (and then suggested that either Ritola or Miller would be gone), 8 defense (added that Meech would be traded, "barring an injury"), and just one Goalie - Jimmy.

Maybe it was just an inadvertent omission...

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Yup, I thought he played just fine. He made as many mistakes as other goalies have in the past. Look at every stanley cup winning team. Every goalie has had their fair share of mistakes. To say that Howard was the make or break of the team winning/losing is pretty disingenuous if you ask me.

I could point out many instances, but look at Niemi last season. Against Vancouver, he played pretty badly with over a 3.00GAA. He did not play very well and made his share of mistakes. Still, the team in front of him pulled together and won the series. How about in 1998 with Osgood when he was letting in horrible goals at inopportune times. If the wings lost out that year, Osgood would have been thrown under the bus. As it turns out, they won the cup that year and Osgood was the man.

I am just saying that a lot of casual armchair hockey fans really have unrealistic expectations of what their goalie should do for them.

First, Niemi is a horrible example. Everyone here knows he is not a hot shot simply because he won a cup.

Every single bad game Osgood had he ended up shining the next.

After the Yotes took the series lead 2-1 Osgood won the next three.

After the Blues tied game 3 with less than a minute to go Osgood kept the team in it at overtime (with a scary almost goal to boot) and the Wings ended up winning 2 of the next 3.

After the Dallas OT loss Osgood posted a 2-0 shutout in the sixth game.

After the 4 goals against in game 2 against Washington Osgood let in 2 goals the next two games.

Osgood's play in that playoff only got better as the playoffs went on and his role in winning the cup was severely underrated simply because the media focused on the three notable long shot goals he gave up. However I don't think anyone considered Osgood the MVP of the team simply because he won.

Finally, Howard let in some stinkers, and was not the Jimmy Howard we saw in the regular season. It could very well be adaptation to playoff hockey and I'm fine with that, but you cannot say he played fine in the playoffs. A 2-1 deficit is much easier to fight back from than a 3-0 deficit and the tying goal in game 3 that led to the 3-0 Sharks series lead destroyed the team.

And his rebound control is a big weakness in his game. Improvable, but still a weakness he needs to address.

Edited by Doc Holliday
Veery, Zeowingsfan and Outsider like this

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Name me a Number 1 goalie who swallows pucks more effectively and consistently than Howard.

I'd say Howard is worse than 60% to 80% of the number 1 goalies out there when it comes to rebound control. The issue doesn't seem so glaring because we have a stellar defensive core who have tended to his developmental needs last year, but there were more instances than should have happened where a weak rebound ended up in the back of the net, or at the very least turned into a penalty kill.

To expand on your now updated stance on Howard, I would agree that he isn't in a bad spot at all considering he is fresh off his rookie year. Having said that, I certainly don't expect him to stay pat on where he is in terms of goal-tending skill. I would hope that he is committed enough to the team and himself to improve on his weaknesses to be the best goalie he can be. Maybe expecting a goalie to be flawless in every aspect of the game is unrealistic and par-for-the-course when it comes to us armchair hockey fans, but I don't think its unacceptable in the least to expect him to try to improve himself when possible, and his rebound control is definitely improvable.

Zeowingsfan and Outsider like this

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I'd say Howard is worse than 60% to 80% of the number 1 goalies out there when it comes to rebound control.

That's true,but 90% of those number 1 goalies got more than Jimmys 711k for the same effort.

He could be better,no doubt,but still has one more year left on his contract to prove us that he deserves to be the Wings #1 goalie

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I've been watching the replay of Round 1 against the 'Yotes all week. Tonight is Game 3.

Anyone who thinks that Howard's rebound control was not a factor in losses this Season needs to re-watch the Games. Seriously.

A lot of people talked all Season long about how the Wings Defense left Howard out to dry many nights, "allowing" 30-40 shots against consistently. What they failed to mention was the dead cold fact that most of those shots were terrible rebounds which should have never been let up in the first place. If Howard had better rebound control, the shots against would have seemed more "Wing-like".

It wasn't the Defense which left Howard out to dry, it was Howard's rebound control which made the Wings Defense look bad on many nights.

The Secret and Zeowingsfan like this

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I'm curious about the psychological aspects of rebound control. As a goaltender, don't you kind of have to develop somewhat of an immunity to small objects flying at you for an average of, what, 80 mph? Is it that when something bounces off you and you see it lying nearly dead on the ground it makes you feel better in comparison to when you simply "swallow" the puck? Kind of like in Happy Gilmore when he goes to the batting cages to let baseballs hit him?

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This tandem will win the jennings. Osgood will obviously be good because he's clearly 'the backup' again. Howard will not have a sophomore slump because he's pretty much 100 years old. We should be more worried about his decline. :hehe:

55fan likes this

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