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, 11 August 2010 - 07:32 PM.