Agreed. All goalies go through a funk. Gus is winning, but so was Conklin back in what, 09? We have to remember Gus is still a backup. Backups have great streaks but we can't count on him being this good forever. Howard has a track record of success. I don't want to see him benched for stretches. They should keep alternating. It worked in 08 and 09.
For the most part I agree. I think it's silly to write Howard off at this point. He's proven that he's a capable guy, and I'd say the odds are in his favor of bouncing back. The only thing I'm iffy on is the comparison to Conklin, though it's tentative. I'm not incredibly familiar with Gustavsson's overall career, but wasn't he in the running for a starting position in Toronto for awhile, though he was often troubled by heart issues or something? I thought I was reading early on when we signed him something about him potentially being more than just a backup, and that he was a guy with the kind of skills that could earn him a starting role. It's obvious who the Wings want the starter to be; just look at the contract he signed last year. But just going off my vague memories, it seems that it might not be as straightforward of a situation as looking at him as a career backup like Conklin or Legace were.
But all that said, I don't think it'd be smart to go with him in the playoffs even if he's the better goalie down the stretch. We signed Howard for the stretch, and if Gustavsson keeps this play up, we won't be signing him again. It just seems a bit stupid to bench your starting goalie when you know he's going to be in the picture for the long run given that he's also proven that he is capable of being much better. Osgood had a lousy 2009 regular season and was outstanding in the playoffs, so you just never know. You've got to keep riding Gustavsson for now because he's winning, and if he keeps winning, he should start the Winter Classic. That's when you can reward the current backup and send a message to the starter, not in the playoffs.
- jimmyemeryhunter likes this