In the last 18 games, Howard has 10 sub-.900 save percentage performances. Of those 10, 9 resulted in a loss, including the last 3 games. His goals-against over the last 18 games is 3.333 per game.
Is his defense crap? Yes, but at what point do we stop making excuses for him and accept that if you are going to be a good goaltender, you have to make the difficult saves, especially at crucial points in the game. As I've said elsewhere, he allows his glove hand to dip, resulting in two goals tonight, his rebound control is as bad as its ever been (which is really saying something with Howard), and the way he has been the last few games reminds me of his early season stretch of awfulness. By the the second goal you could read in his body language that he was feeling sorry for himself. He looks lethargic at times and he is allowing back-breaking goals.
Is the problem honestly that this injury-depleted team can't score an average of 4+ goals per game to win? Bad as our defense has been, Howard has been just as bad, and getting worse.