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The biggest difference in the Nashville series


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#41 joshy207

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 06:18 PM

Goaltending is about the last thing you can blame for the Wings losing the series.
-The Wings were absolutely atrocious in their own zone. Turned the puck over way too much and couldn't cover anyone in front of the net. Howard had no chance on half the Predators' goals.
-The Wings' forwards were just as bad. They couldn't score in a house of ill repute with a truck full of $100s. They wouldn't go to the net to create in-tight scoring chances or battle for rebounds. They were smaller and slower than Nashville, and it showed, bigtime.
-The Predators were so motivated for that series. That team was built to beat Detroit. They succeeded. That may as well have been their Stanley Cup, because Phoenix walked all over them as easily as they walked all over us.
-The Wings appeared to not be motivated at all. Missing Helm was a part of that. Nobody else brings his energy. How many games in the regular season was Helm's line the team's best? (The answer is WAY TOO MANY!) But another part of that is, I get the sense that these players know they'll be here year after year, they aren't traded away, they are re-signed as long as they fit under the cap, and they aren't really forced out the door until it's painfully obvious they need to retire. If they don't win the Cup, a series, whatever, they think, oh, it's ok, we'll be back next year. There's no price to pay for underachieving, and that's what drives me crazy.

#42 CrimsonFlame

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 06:19 PM

Yep, goalies are often times are only as good as the defense in front.

Phoenix is a good example, Bryzgalov was much better there than in Philly, and Mike Smith was able to step in and put up amazing numbers.
Minnesota - Backstrom's numbers were much better when they played a much more conservative defensive system.
Pittsburgh - Fleury has never been great in my mind, but Pittsburgh has had much better defenses than they did last season.

Howard is the type of goalie you really like in the salary cap era, he's not going elite money, but will put up top 5 numbers when playing in front of a good defense(First half of last year and rookie season)


The problem with this is that he is not playing like a top five goalie at all. How many playoff games has he stolen for us since he was made the starter? Zero. In fact how many regular season games has he stolen at all? I'm not going to go back and count but I can imagine that the number can be counted on one hand. That's not "Top 5" caliber. Heck that's not even top ten caliber. Jimmy is the goalie that will have one or two really cool looking savings per game that all the fans will cheer and the announcers will go "OOOOH LOOK AT THAT JIMMY HOWARD". And then the rest of the game he's deflecting rebounds right back to shooters waiting in the slot.k Or he'll over play the puck and then have to dive back into the crease which will make a really awesome looking save, but one that was completely preventable in the first place.

The problem with Jimmy is not that he is average. Like I said earlier, you can do just fine with an average goalie. It's not that he's paid too much because right now he's being paid next to nothing. The problem is with this "top 5" attitude. He is not playing even close to that level and yet people seem to want to talk about him like he is. This of course is reflected in the front office's complete negligence of a defense.

Let's be honest, the Wings defense has been complained about for the last few years and it seems to be getting worse every time around. It's bad. When you combine an average goalie with a sub average defense, things are going to get messy. Now combine that with our EXTREMELY streaky offense and you're looking at a disaster scenario.

Was Jimmy the entire reason we lost against Nville? No. There is plenty of blame to be dished out to everyone on the time. But calling him a top 5 goalie? That has to be a joke.

Oh and one more thing that really bugs me. Saying "OH WELL JIMMY HAD NO CHANCE ON ALL THOSE GOALS" is a cop out. That's why elite goal tenders are elite. Because they DO stop those impossible redirections and one timers. Maybe it's luck. Maybe they are just that special. But they make those stops. And if you actually go back and look at the phoenix series, how many wrist shots from the top of the circle did Jimmy completely whiff on? I remember two crucial ones just off the top of my head. And even better, what about the one where he thought he had to play the puck in the corner. It's bad enough the defenders all goofed, but the goalie isn't supposed to be that far out ever. What was he thinking?

Edited by CrimsonFlame, 15 July 2012 - 06:25 PM.


#43 Carman

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 07:09 PM

You don't watch much hockey if you have that opinion of Jimmy Howard.

The fact is Howard is a top 10 goalie in the league, and that can't be disputed. He was in the top 10 in both GAA and SV% last season.

The playoffs his stats suffered because of the amount of high scoring percentage defensive breakdowns the Wing's gave up. You're criticism is completely taking the blame off of the Red Wings team. Watch the Nashville series and just count the odd man rushes we gave up, I did the Red Wings gave up 20 more 2 on 1's, 3, on 1's and breakaways than Nashville gave up. Think about that for a moment and still tell me goaltending was the biggest issue.

Goaltending is reliant on the team in front of them to give them a clear view of the shot, clear rebounds and limit breakdowns, fact is the Red Wings struggled mightily in that area and that's the reason they lost. In the cap era you are much better signing a goalie like Howard and see if he can develop to be elite, than overpaying on an "elite" goalie like Luongo, Bryzgalov, Kiprusoff, Backstrom, Ryan Miller, Carey Price, Rinne, Lundqvist, Hiller, Thomas and Fleury which Howard had equal to or better seasons than.

Sure he's not Jonathan Quick, but Jimmy Howard is a very good option for the Red Wings. What realistic options would we have to improve there anyways? Would you even want Fleury? How about Luongo? How about Miller and his 2.55 gaa? Goalies are sporadic, and I believe it's much more important to improve the team in front of the goalie when your goalie is putting up top 10 numbers, because finding an improvement for that is going to be a long shot gamble.

Edited by Carman, 15 July 2012 - 07:40 PM.


#44 Johnz96

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 07:28 PM

You don't watch much hockey if you have that opinion of Jimmy Howard.

The fact is Howard is a top 10 goalie in the league, and that can't be disputed. He was in the top 10 in both GAA and SV% last season.

The playoffs his stats suffered because of the amount of high scoring percentage defensive breakdowns the Wing's gave up. You're criticism is completely taking the blame off of the Red Wings team. Watch the Nashville series and just count the odd man rushes we gave up, I did the Red Wings gave up 20 more than 2 on 1's, 3, on 1's and breakaways than Nashville gave up. Think about that for a moment and still tell me goaltending was the biggest issue.

Goaltending is reliant on the team in front of them to give them a clear view of the shot, clear rebounds and limit breakdowns, fact is the Red Wings struggled mightily in that area and that's the reason they lost. In the cap era you are much better signing a goalie like Howard and see if he can develop to be elite, than overpaying on an "elite" goalie like Luongo, Bryzgalov, Kiprusoff, Backstrom, Ryan Miller, Carey Price, Rinne, Lundqvist, Hiller, Thomas and Fleury which Howard had equal to or better seasons than.

Sure he's not Jonathan Quick, but Jimmy Howard is a very good option for the Red Wings. What realistic options would we have to improve there anyways? Would you even want Fleury? How about Luongo? How about Miller and his 2.55 gaa? Goalies are sporadic, and I believe it's much more important to improve the team in front of the goalie when your goalie is putting up top 10 numbers, because finding an improvement for that is going to be a long shot gamble.

I think having a young defense we will go through some growing pains especially early in the season they will learn from their mistakes and that we will have an added benefit when it comes time to negotiate a new contract for Howard

#45 CrimsonFlame

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 07:42 PM

You don't watch much hockey if you have that opinion of Jimmy Howard.

The fact is Howard is a top 10 goalie in the league, and that can't be disputed. He was in the top 10 in both GAA and SV% last season.

The playoffs his stats suffered because of the amount of high scoring percentage defensive breakdowns the Wing's gave up. You're criticism is completely taking the blame off of the Red Wings team. Watch the Nashville series and just count the odd man rushes we gave up, I did the Red Wings gave up 20 more than 2 on 1's, 3, on 1's and breakaways than Nashville gave up. Think about that for a moment and still tell me goaltending was the biggest issue.

Goaltending is reliant on the team in front of them to give them a clear view of the shot, clear rebounds and limit breakdowns, fact is the Red Wings struggled mightily in that area and that's the reason they lost. In the cap era you are much better signing a goalie like Howard and see if he can develop to be elite, than overpaying on an "elite" goalie like Luongo, Bryzgalov, Kiprusoff, Backstrom, Ryan Miller, Carey Price, Rinne, Lundqvist, Hiller, Thomas and Fleury which Howard had equal to or better seasons than.

Sure he's not Jonathan Quick, but Jimmy Howard is a very good option for the Red Wings. What realistic options would we have to improve there anyways? Would you even want Fleury? How about Luongo? How about Miller and his 2.55 gaa? Goalies are sporadic, and I believe it's much more important to improve the team in front of the goalie when your goalie is putting up top 10 numbers, because finding an improvement for that is going to be a long shot gamble.


Being top ten in numbers is great and all, but in the end it's just that. Numbers. And those numbers didn't translate into good playing during the nashville series. You're kidding yourself if you think he was playing great then. Even saying good would be pushing it. If you like him then ok that's your opinnion. But saying he is unarguably a top tier goalie couldn't be further than the truth. If he was then well we wouldn't even be having this conversation.

#46 Crymson

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 07:52 PM

They had a few lucky bounces too and we didn't but if Howard was as good as Rinne and Rinne as good as Howard we probably would have swept the series


Rinne is one of the top three goalies in the league right now. Howard is top ten. Not every team can have a goalie like Rinne. And his skill is why he's being paid $7m versus Howard's $2.25m.

As for Howard, we ought to not forget that, for the first 30% of the season, he kept the Wings out of the basement.

#47 Crymson

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 07:59 PM

The problem with this is that he is not playing like a top five goalie at all. How many playoff games has he stolen for us since he was made the starter? Zero. In fact how many regular season games has he stolen at all? I'm not going to go back and count but I can imagine that the number can be counted on one hand. That's not "Top 5" caliber. Heck that's not even top ten caliber. Jimmy is the goalie that will have one or two really cool looking savings per game that all the fans will cheer and the announcers will go "OOOOH LOOK AT THAT JIMMY HOWARD". And then the rest of the game he's deflecting rebounds right back to shooters waiting in the slot.k Or he'll over play the puck and then have to dive back into the crease which will make a really awesome looking save, but one that was completely preventable in the first place.


I stopped reading here. The material was totally absurd. Apparently it has only taken you six months to forget that Howard was without a doubt the team's MVP for the first half of the season. His performance was Vezina-worthy during that time. He slowed down as a result of his multiple injuries, but he had an excellent season nevertheless. Likewise with his rookie season, in which he put up world-class numbers and was the single most important factor in the team making the playoffs. He had a rough sophomore season--this is hardly unusual for goalies--in 2010-2011 but bounced back in the playoffs. When has he stolen a game in the playoffs, you ask? How about game five against the Sharks? And had the Wings managed to score more than the whopping one goal they scored in each of game one and game two, those would have been stolen games also, as Howard was absolutely excellent in those.

I don't think anyone really considers Howard a top-five goalie. But he's easily a top-ten goalie. He gives the team the opportunity to win every night. He's most certainly the best regular-season goalie the Wings have had since the lockout, and he does his part in the playoffs as well. The problem in the most recent playoffs was the team putting Howard in positions in which he'd have had to make impossible saves. And the fact that they couldn't score was not his fault. He gave them the chance to win in every game, but they didn't do it.

I'll echo Carman and say that if that giant wall of text really describes what you think of Howard, I doubt you watch many Red Wings games.

Edited by Crymson, 15 July 2012 - 10:09 PM.


#48 kylee

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 08:15 PM

we scored 1.8 goals a game. But I will say this, Howard's save percentage was sub 90%.

#49 Crymson

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 09:26 PM

we scored 1.8 goals a game. But I will say this, Howard's save percentage was sub 90%.


Save percentage doesn't always tell the whole story. As Howard's teammates themselves confessed, they hung him out to dry on a regular basis in that series. If a goalie isn't seeing a lot of shots but is facing impossible-to-stop chances because of defensive muck-ups, then having a bad save percentage doesn't necessarily mean that he played poorly.

#50 archimet

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 09:26 PM

Had pekka been hung out to dry the way Howard was, he would not have looked so good. Having weber/suter in front of him 30 minutes every game makes pekka look very good. Huge preds fan, I love pekka but having watched every game, pekka is just a part of a very good defensive system that just happened to have the best D pair in the league. Plus all the intangibles were there for Nashville in that series, preds were pumped to have the wings coming in at a time when all the momentum favored the preds. It was a buzz saw for Detroit. The intensity with the preds players, coaches, fans was there. Nashville's letdown in round 2 was a mere formality. Saw it coming before round 1 was over.
In no way was Howard the reason


I agree. It was Nashville's time to win. Your Preds were seriously motivated. Many were picking them to win it all. Detroit came into the playoffs struggling and Nashville did what a good team does... they never let Detroit get on a roll.

#51 Shaman

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 10:02 PM

Save percentage doesn't always tell the whole story. As Howard's teammates themselves confessed, they hung him out to dry on a regular basis in that series. If a goalie isn't seeing a lot of shots but is facing impossible-to-stop chances because of defensive muck-ups, then having a bad save percentage doesn't necessarily mean that he played poorly.

Also it doesn't differentiate between high percentage shots and low percentage shots. Facing 40 low percentage shots is a whole different animal than facing 20 high percentage shots.
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#52 number9

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 10:24 PM

Legwand is a cheater and is not actually from Michigan.

#53 Salviaman

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 11:30 PM

Manny Legace. lol
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#54 RyanBarnes!

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 03:25 AM

Goaltending was a non issue in my opinion. Howard did his job and he bailed out his defense more than a few times too. As pointed out, the Red Wings made things simple for Rinne, by shooting from the perimeter and not crashing the net and creating traffic in front of the him. Further I think the Red Wings wasted a lot of good opportunities by overpassing the puck in PP. The real key in my opinion was that the Red Wings had no speed whatsoever from the neutral zone to allow them to blow past the Preds defense. Many times I saw FIlppula all on his own against three defending Preds. Since he had no speed he had no choice but to circle around and wait for his team mates to catch up. Look at the goals scored in 2008, most plays were on the rush. This past series I think the Red Wings looked exactly like the 2003 and 2004 editions of the Red Wings when they couldn't score on Giguere and Kipprusoff: No speed, no heart.
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#55 VM1138

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 07:16 AM

Goaltending
I am not saying Howard was bad but he wasn't nearly as good as Rinne.
I can just imagine the s*** people here would be saying about Holland if we didn't replace Hasek with Osgood in 08 and lost in the first round and went more than a decade without a Cup (most teams go a lot longer than that)


I have to respectfully disagree. The goaltending was not markedly different. I know that's the standard storyline, but I made sure to pay very close attention because Rinne had such a reputation. Most of his saves were very poor shots by the Wings.

The reason the Wings lost is because we gave up a ton of 2 on 1s and we only took one perimeter shot and then went back to our zone. Rinne was good with some amazing saves, but so was Howard. If Howard hadn't been good we would've been blown out each game.
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#56 RyanBarnes!

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 08:26 AM

I have to respectfully disagree. The goaltending was not markedly different. I know that's the standard storyline, but I made sure to pay very close attention because Rinne had such a reputation. Most of his saves were very poor shots by the Wings.

The reason the Wings lost is because we gave up a ton of 2 on 1s and we only took one perimeter shot and then went back to our zone. Rinne was good with some amazing saves, but so was Howard. If Howard hadn't been good we would've been blown out each game.

I also think the Red Wings managed to hit quite a few posts.
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#57 Johnz96

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 08:57 AM

I have to respectfully disagree. The goaltending was not markedly different. I know that's the standard storyline, but I made sure to pay very close attention because Rinne had such a reputation. Most of his saves were very poor shots by the Wings.

The reason the Wings lost is because we gave up a ton of 2 on 1s and we only took one perimeter shot and then went back to our zone. Rinne was good with some amazing saves, but so was Howard. If Howard hadn't been good we would've been blown out each game.

All I got to say to that is wow

#58 Carman

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 12:07 PM

All I got to say to that is wow


What is so surprising? Rinne looked a lot worse in game 1 and 2 in the Phoenix series than Howard did in the Nashville series. The difference wasn't Rinne decided all of a sudden to not stop the puck, the difference was the team in front of him. Howard also had a better GAA (2.13) than Rinne(2.39), and had only .003% difference in SV%. They are not that different, the main difference is the 5 million in salary and

What's surprising to me is there are still Red Wing fans that blame goaltending after so many years and example after example on how goalies are often dependent on the team in front of them.

#59 Crymson

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 12:41 PM

All I got to say to that is wow


In other words, you've got no rebuttal to his post.

#60 cusimano_brothers

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 01:07 PM

Number of series with no more than an average of 1.80 goals scored: 19
Number of series won with no more than an average of 1.80 goals scored: 2
That's all...two.

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