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gcom007Member Since 18 Dec 2003
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Posted by gcom007 on 04 May 2010 - 09:56 PM
However, that soft goal at the end of the 1st and the soft goal in the 3rd are unacceptable. I feel infinitely more justified in suggesting that Babcock screwed up with the goaltending. It's just stupid to put so much on a rookie when you've got a guy like Osgood there. He never was given a fair shot, and that's a shame.
As I've said since November, it's stupid to put so much on Howard. It's not fair to him. He was set up to fail or be Patrick Roy, and the latter was unlikely to happen.
He hasn't been good enough in the playoffs and he lost this game for us. I don't blame him though. I blame Babcock. He's been making poor coaching decisions since November, and now we're suffering through the result of those poor decisions, and most unfortunately, so is Howard.
Posted by gcom007 on 04 May 2010 - 02:08 PM
I highly doubt anybody is taking away from Osgood's recent past performances, so not much need to divulge into numbers there saying one goalie is better than the other.
Presently though, it is Howard's job and he has not been the problem/main problem on this team in losses (sans Phoenix game 4 perhaps) and we're basically smacking the few upside the head who think Osgood should be starting next game. Not because of Osgood, of course he is capable, but because Howard really hasn't done much to justify yanking him to the bench.
There have definitely been people dropping the cliche of Osgood getting by on stacked teams. It's typical BS Osgood analysis around here. When Osgood plays well, it's because of stacked teams. When anyone else struggles, it's the team's fault. Meanwhile, in the regular season, when the team plays poorly, it's because they're not confident in Osgood to make the save. Then someone else comes in and plays well (and perhaps the team gets a wake up call and picks up their game too...) and suddenly the teams playing better because the goalie's giving them confidence.
And that does bring me to a point about Howard again. If we're going to go with the idea that strong play from a goalie makes a team play better with more confidence, and then that weak play makes a team play worse with less confidence, you've got to question how Howard's play in the post-season is influencing this team. And while I'd agree that he certainly hasn't been the only problem, he's most certainly not been a strength for us the majority of the time thus far.
He's struggled to hold leads and oftentimes given up the leads early. On multiple occasions he's surrendered the lead/let the other team tie it up merely moments after we tied it up/took the lead. And that boils down to the one thing I very much agree with Eva on: Howard's timing for giving up goals has been terrible, and far too often these goals are either stoppable or blatantly soft.
Here is a stat that to me is fairly stunning: Howard's given up goals in pairs (or more...) just a few moments or less apart, in 6 out of 9 games.
While the circumstances are obviously different given how much Osgood's played this year, if this were 2008 and Howard started and played as he has this year, he absolutely would have been pulled by now. The biggest reason we pulled Hasek is because he kept giving up goals in pairs, surrendering leads, and generally not stopping the puck at the worst times. Howard's absolutely had the same issue, and for as well as he's played at times (and bear in mind, I gave him a ton of credit for his Game 2 recovery and don't hold those 3rd and 4th goals against him), he's also played downright poorly at others.
As I've said all along and all season, I like Jim Howard a lot and I'm very happy for all he's done this year and I think he's got a lot of potential if he keeps his head straight and continues to improve on his fundamentals. But at the end of the day, I'm not going to sugarcoat anything about the post-season: he hasn't been good enough, not even close. If Osgood were in game shape, I think Howard would have and probably should have been out in the first round. Far too often he has not played well enough to allow this team to get any kind of momentum or swagger going. When you're constantly giving up goals in pairs, giving up leads early, giving up leads or ties through the game, you don't give your team any chance to get going.
Again, I'm not saying it's all his fault by any means, but you've got to sugarcoat it and some to say that he hasn't been a glaring weakness in the post-season far too often. And to suggest that he isn't helping the team play better is no stretch either. And while I get that it's real hard to put Osgood in at this point for other reasons, and while I get that Howard's finished games better than he started at times, it doesn't change the fact that we've lost more games than we've won and Howard's most certainly one of the reasons that is the case.
So while it's not so cut and dry for me, I certainly understand why many are ready to yank Howard and see if Osgood can get it done again. This isn't just slappy's on the forum. It's the radio hosts, it's the journalists, and it's not a brand new suggestion after game 4. While I get that Howard is a rookie and I'm not going to hold this against him in the future, I don't think anyone is being honest if they suggest that Howard hasn't been incredibly disappointing in the post-season so far. The whole reason we went with Howard over a 3-time Cup winner down the stretch is because he played so great, at times looking utterly dominant while putting on a one man show. He absolutely has not played anywhere close to that level in the post-season.
How can you really expect people to be happy about that?
Posted by gcom007 on 04 May 2010 - 12:47 AM
And as far as last year goes, I think many of you are just totally forgetting things. Osgood was nothing short of outstanding, probably better even than he was the year before. The team had countless injuries throughout the playoffs to major stars. Lidstrom actually missed games! Hell, and game 4 against Columbus dragged his stellar stats down as he let in 5 goals while sick or dehydrated...I can't remember what it was, but he was FAR from 100% after only surrendering 2 goals in 3 games prior to that. And if you break it down over the course of the playoffs, Osgood was facing a lot of shots. On average he'd be just a few below Howard right now and Osgood isn't one to give up the rebound shots like Howard.
If last June people had tried to say anything negative about Osgood's playoff performance, or tried to minimize it in any way, there would be a tidal wave of people declaring you wholly and completely insane. If we had won the Cup, Osgood was getting the Conn Smythe, absolutely no doubt about it. He was the difference in the playoffs for a team battered by injuries to its stars. Against the Blackhawks, a far, far, far stronger team offensively than Phoenix, without Nicklas Lidstrom for the final two games of the series, Osgood held the Hawks to 1 goal each game.
And how well did Datsyuk play for us last year? How about in the first four games of the Finals? Oh wait, he didn't even play. How about Hossa? How about Holmstrom?
How else can I put this? I think it's absolute lunacy to suggest that Osgood was anything short of brilliant during the last two post-seasons. And any way you shake it, when push comes to shove, Howard hasn't answered the call too much of the time this year. We're not even to game 3 of the second round yet and he's already given up almost as many goals as Osgood gave up in the entire Cup run in 2008! And in the first round we played one of the worst offensive teams in the league! It's worth defending Howard's play last night in particular, but far too often he's failed to raise his game, and he's created as much chaos for himself at times as anyone on this team.
There's no way in hell you can't look at the goaltending as a problem when you're giving up 4 or more goals in 5 out of 9 of your starts thus far. It doesn't mean that goaltending has been the only problem, it doesn't mean we should put Osgood in, nor does it mean that Howard's been utterly terrible. But he's been nowhere near good enough. Not even close. You can't give up so many goals early, many of them stoppable if not blatantly soft, and expect the team to rally around him and play their best hockey. Osgood was a rock the last two post-seasons; he was as steady as they come. There's no way in hell you can look at Howard's post-season so far and say the same. Howard hasn't given this team a chance to relax and get their game together far too often. That's just not going to cut it, no matter how well he plays the rest of the game.
And then there's last year...
Babcock on Osgood last year after the playoffs: "Despite the loss, Red Wings coach Mike Babcock couldn't contain his praise for the veteran goalie. "I think just in the playoffs in general he was excellent for us," Babcock said. "(He) gave us a chance. You know, along the way in the playoffs this year (was) much different than last year. We never were always firing on all cylinders. We always had people missing. And Ozzie was one of our strengths, to say the least, all playoff long. I think he deserves a lot of credit. His numbers speaks for himself, he's done a great job." ( http://redwings.nhl....s.htm?id=466559 )
And as Babcock says, the numbers tell quite a story here...
2007-2008 Playoff Stats
2008-2009 Playoff Stats
GP: 23 Record: 15-8
2009-2010 Playoff Stats
Posted by gcom007 on 03 May 2010 - 10:54 AM
Jimmy was standing on his head when the score was 3-2, so saying he has never made the big timely
The glove save on Malhotra, Thornton, the saves on the door step through the mad scrambles, if I remember correctly all happened while the Wings had the lead or were tied.
I find it hilarious all of the glaring mistakes made in this game by Wings skaters and the way to fix it on here starts with the netminders.
That was my point though in saying that last night was his most important game. In the other games where he gave up the second goal, the 3rd and 4th goal tended to follow shortly thereafter as opposed to last night when he battled back and started making the big saves. I'm not disregarding his play throughout the game and while he eventually let in a 3rd and 4th goals, it was due to circumstances more outside of his control than in previous games. He was strong and resilient after the 2nd goal in this game. We were in this game last night until we lost our composure in the 3rd and took a ton of stupid penalties. You can't blame Howard for that.
That said, again, he needs to be stronger in the first in games 3 and 4 if we're going to have a prayer, along with the rest of the team. He hasn't had all the help in the world, but he hasn't helped steady the ship early on, and that's important in the post-season more than ever. A big save when you're up 1-0 is as important as a goal that sends it to 2-0. We need that out of Howard tomorrow.
I don't agree with much of Eva's analysis and I don't think Osgood should go in, but one thing he touched on that has been true in 6 of his 9 playoff starts is that he hasn't made timely saves to help us attain and maintain a lead. I do believe that's more important than some acknowledge. And to be fair and objective, one benefit Osgood could bring to the game even if a bit rusty is his ability to slow things down. He's much better about absorbing the puck and controlling the pace than Howard at this point. All season long, we've seen a more furious pace to the onslaught in front of Howard, but much of that has to do with Howard's struggles with rebound and puck control in general. Whereas many goalies smother the puck up on the first shot, Howard often gives up multiple rebounds, forcing him to make 2-3 saves and creating scrambles in our end.
(Note: the following isn't an argument to put Osgood in, so much as discussion on why I thought Osgood should've been given more of a chance to be the guy heading into the playoffs)
I think Howard certainly can improve on his weak points in time, but the youthful issues play into why I didn't like the idea of him starting in the playoffs as a rookie. Many have said for awhile that his technical shortcomings as a goaltender would be more evident in the playoffs as the intensity picks up and guys zero in on a goalies weaknesses and tendencies. Despite some strong moments at times, more often than not, this has been true. Again, I don't hold it against Howard as he is a rookie; it's just why I thought Osgood should've been given more chances to get going so he could lead the way again in the post-season. I simply saw no harm in giving Howard more time to learn what it takes to play at the NHL level; it's no knock on Howard as a goalie as he's just a rookie.
Ultimately, 99% of the time I believe that the benefits of a veteran netminder in the playoffs outweigh the benefits of going with the younger regular season hotshot. Veterans know what it takes to win in the playoffs and how to help control the pace of those game. They oftentimes learn by watching and experiencing day to day how other veterans do it first.
A lot of people thought it was stupid to go with Vernon over Osgood in '97 as Osgood was the younger hotshot at that time, and while he had his fair share of doubters too (which I still believe are solely the result of game 7 against San Jose in his rookie year, enough said...), many questioned the move. I think Vernon's regular season stats were a bit rough (he had a sub-.900 save percentage if memory serves me correctly...), definitely not as strong as Osgood's who played more as well. But Vernon was the veteran who had already won a Cup, and he went on to win the Cup for us again and the Conn Smythe as well.
I have little doubt that watching Vernon win that Cup in 1997 was the biggest difference maker in Osgood's career. He was a strong goalie technically, already an All Star and Vezina runner-up before he was 25, but regular season stats and records oftentimes have little to do with postseason stats and records, let alone the sound mental approach needed to go the distance in the playoffs. As he's said again and again, he learned all that watching Vernon.
So for me, I think Osgood should have started in the playoffs, no matter how the regular season went down. However, that doesn't mean I think he should go in at this point. I mean this as no knock to Jimmy Howard as a goalie, and I'm not just backtracking because he hasn't been great in the playoffs. I've said it all along for the same reasons I'm reiterating now. And while I don't hold anything against Howard, the experience of watching him thus far in the post-season is certainly affirming of my previous thoughts on going with the veteran in the post-season. Worst case scenario you have to go to Howard if Osgood screws up. Much better to let the veteran battle with the emotions of getting pulled than a rookie who doesn't show up, and if a rookie can't get it done after Osgood, it's not going to be nearly as (potentially) scarring to him as being the starter from game 1 has potential to be.
Once in a blue moon there's a Patrick Roy who can do it all as a rookie, but it's RARE as can be. From all I've seen through the years, you're far more likely to burn a guy out by putting too much pressure on him early on. I think Howard's got a lot of skill and potential, but to say I'm not concerned for how this could end up affecting his career would be a lie. Again, far too many goalies come on strong only to burn out fast. I suppose there's nothing to be done about it now, I'm just saying...he's a good kid, and I've loved seeing him prove so many wrong this year. Unfortunately, I know all too well how quickly people will turn against you as well...
Posted by gcom007 on 03 May 2010 - 09:22 AM
This is silly, any way it goes. s***ty refs or not, both those games were winnable and the Wings did everything in their power to lose while giving the refs every opportunity possible to make s*** calls.
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Posted by gcom007 on 03 May 2010 - 09:18 AM
We didn't last night's game because of Jimmy Howard, though at the same time, we haven't won a game in this series yet either, and Jimmy Howard has a hand in that too. There haven't been incredibly soft goals, but there has been a lack of big saves before we're already in a hole. If we're going to have a prayer, he needs to be far stronger in the first period in games 3 and 4. He has failed to make the big saves early on and when you go down early, or you don't maintain early leads, you're not set up too well for the rest of the game.
Just like the rest of the team, Jimmy Howard needs to put in a full 60 minutes in games 3 and 4 or this series is over.
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Posted by gcom007 on 03 May 2010 - 09:08 AM
I throw out the "bandwagon fan" to those who bail on the team for no reason other than they are facing adversity. There are a lot of people here saying "season is over" and other crap like that. A true fan doesn't give up on their team.
If you can't grasp that concept, then I don't know what to say.
Prime example of a bandwagon fan
Easy to throw the towel in. They will be rooting for the Sharks next week.
This is nonsense.
There is a fairly literal definition of the term "bandwagon." You would do well to read up on the concept of "bandwagon effect" so as to understand why you should stop using the term in a manner that makes no sense.
Based on your working definition, your grievance with "bandwagon fans" revolves around an issue of faith more so than an actual case of "bandwagon effect" in action. There is a difference between one who is pessimistic and one who is optimistic for certain, but in this case, such states do not necessarily minimize how much of a fan one may be. It has more to do with how specific people's personalities deal with any given situation. Thinking or imagining the worst absolutely does not automatically insinuate that you do not care endlessly about something.
You would do well to stop deriding people who care enough about the Red Wings to seek out a message board, make an account, and then post on a forum, perhaps thousands of times. They may not be the same type of fan you are, but they are most certainly fans. You may not process things the same way or agree with them, but it is naive to make sweeping comments to suggest that there are many people here that do not care endlessly about this team. It is entirely unnecessary and presumptuous.
Posted by gcom007 on 02 May 2010 - 11:57 PM
Howard is the reason that this game was not a blowout.
Osgood, playing behind a totally stacked team as he was the last two seasons, never had to deal with the sort of barrages Howard has been weathering so far in these playoffs.
While this is irrelevant to the topic, your assessment of Osgood's challenges the last few years, especially last year, is way off. That stacked team last year had countless injuries and were a defensive nightmare. How on earth do people so easily forget that Osgood was essentially a shoo-in for the Conn Smythe last year for this reason alone? We had every reason to go down early if not for the excellent play of Osgood. And remember in 2008 against the Pens? 2 shut outs to open the series and take a 2-0 lead against Bettman's fake-son's team!? Give me a break. Osgood was nothing short of outstanding any way you shake it the last two years.
That said, and I'm not saying Howard has been horrible, he hasn't played very well either. He's had really solid moments, but far too many piss-poor moments as well and he has lacked the ability to make key saves at the right time now in 6 of 9 playoff games. He's not losing the games for us in a Legace-esque fashion, but he's certainly not doing much to help matters either. He's got to do more to keep us in the game in the first or it doesn't matter how well he plays in the 2nd or 3rd. Phoenix was a terrible offensive team and now we're facing a team that's actually got some firepower. He's got to be stronger early on in these games, whether the defense is helping or not.
It's everyone's fault we're not playing well more often than not in this post-season, and Jimmy Howard absolutely deserves to shoulder as much of the blame for that as the rest of the team. It's a tough lesson to learn, but he's a rookie, and hopefully he is learning that it takes a lot more of "something" to do in the playoffs what seems fairly natural in the regular season. While I'm not letting him off the hook for this post-season, I'm not about to hold it against him either. Again, ROOKIE!!!
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Posted by gcom007 on 02 May 2010 - 10:49 PM
But you can't just take these all out of context, one at a time. Kronwall's not in position to take that penalty without the BS Bertuzzi penalty that completed shifted the course of that game. Detroit started the 3rd strong and then that crap call changed the momentum, the Kronwall penalty led to a tie and the rest is history. You're telling me there was NO time that a Wing was interfered with, held or roughed in all that time? Come on. You can blame the refs when the refs are horrendous.
Can't take it out of context? I would say I'm keeping within the context as opposed to trying to take the penalty out of context. Bad calls happen; poorly called games happen. These guys are professionals and they need to be able to respond better than they did in a game where the refs are calling a lot of slop. Anyone could see early on that these refs were whistle-happy tonight and instead of rolling with the punches and tightening things up, they got even sloppier than normal! Again, I'm not saying the refs didn't suck. Without a doubt, they did, there's no argument or debate about it. It certainly didn't help matters tonight, but we lost the game because of our own poor choices; our own sloppy play. We took way too many stupid penalties at terrible times.
Remember, it was just a tie game before Cleary's dumb penalty and Flip's dumb penalty that ate up time we could've used to make a push. And then a blatant too many men on the ice call killing our chance for an advantage at the end?! Seriously, I get that people are pissed at the refs and losing this game and I get how it's easy to do a sort of math on the matter to assign blame to someone else, but the Wings did more to lose this game than they did to win it. San Jose did more to win this game than to lose it. That's the bottom line.
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Posted by gcom007 on 02 May 2010 - 10:32 PM
We lost for a couple reasons. One, we weren't playing Red Wings hockey. We were sloppy, lazy and undisciplined.
That being said, when the refs are sof****** incompetent that they are calling phantom penalties and constantly forcing you to play on your heels because you're always on the penalty kill, that s*** is going to add up. The 2002 Wings would lose the game if these refs were calling it. You can't win the game when you're constantly on 5 on 3's because the refs caught you sneezing on the goalie and pop you for interference. Sooner or later, the team constantly on the PP is going to net goals, and that's just what happened.
Blaming the refs for this loss is absolutely correct, because if not for their stunning lack of intelligence, maybe we win this game DESPITE how poorly we played otherwise.
When you see the refs are calling phantom calls all game, why in the f*** do you keep taking chances on scrappy, 50/50 penalty type stuff? Bert's "holding" call was ABSURD. No argument. But then Kronwall takes a blatant penalty on the PK that he absolutely didn't need to take. So I should blame the refs for Kronwalls total stupidity in taking a blatant, unnecessary penalty when we're already on the PK and up only by 1?!?!
Every penalty against us after Bert's "holding" call was a legit penalty. The only phantom call after that was against Heatley!
Sorry, no way is blaming the refs going to fly. They may have sucked, but we gave this game away.
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Posted by gcom007 on 02 May 2010 - 10:01 PM
The refs in this game should be embarrassed. 10 penalties to 3. Someone see something wrong with this picture?
Bert's calls were bulls*** but we gave the refs way too many chances to make questionable calls. We lost this game any way you shake it. It wasn't the refs, even if they were s***ty. The Wings played way too sloppy when they KNOW the refs are calling just about everything.
Posted by gcom007 on 02 May 2010 - 07:30 PM
Posted by gcom007 on 27 April 2010 - 11:07 PM
As far as the next round, I'm really excited, but realistically, we're going to have to play a whole lot better and more consistently to win. San Jose's got a lot more firepower than Phoenix and Phoenix still lit us up in 4 of the 7 games. We got lucky when we pulled out game 2 despite a sloppy effort, as in the end, it was the difference most likely. But if we give San Jose four sloppy efforts, they'll win four games and the series. I'm not trying to be pessimistic, and I'm pumped, but this series was not comforting to me considering it's only going to get harder from here on out.
Then again, can the Sharks really win? That'd put them in the semi's...that can't really happen, can it? It's the Sharks, they always blow it...
Well, yeah, I'm pumped...can't wait for Thursday!!!
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