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Member Since 18 Dec 2003
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#2123629 Wings sign Howard to 2-year, $4.5M extension

Posted by gcom007 on 28 February 2011 - 05:52 PM

Good deal. Not being too overpaid even if the consistency issues remain. 2 years is a real good length after this season. Gives Howard more time to prove himself and the Wings flexibility if things don't go so well. I would've liked to have seen it done for a little less the way the playoffs and this regular season have gone, but this is a pretty reasonable deal all things considered. No one should be too unhappy with this.

I would add in another couple suggestions

--The defense in front of Howard really has not helped him out in some situations.
--Although they make mistakes, the defense in front of Howard does play better.

After watching how the defense plays worse than the Oilers defense in some periods, and then comes out and plays lights out in other periods, I really don't look too deeply into Howards stats. The stats of a goalie at this level is largely dependent upon the defense in front of him. Howard has the wins, but that is because of what you and I just mentioned. They are 2nd in goals scored, but their defense has not been as stellar at times.

As for consistency, it is very hard for a goalie to be consistent if the team defense is not consistent in front of him. Look at the goals that Buffalo scored last game. A breakaway and a 2 on 1 chance. Both of which Howard had zero chance on. When the D plays more consistent, then I will start looking deep into his stats.

The defense has been a mess since we last won the Cup. He dealt with the exact same problems last year but played far better to fight through them. He hasn't been as terrible as some suggest and the defense certainly doesn't help him most nights, but it would be absurd to suggest that he's played even remotely as well this season as he did last season, and the same could be said about his playoff performance last year. He's proven that he has the skills to be a shut down goalie, but he absolutely has not extended that play into the post-season or his 2nd NHL season. And that's exactly why he didn't get a longer contract worth more money per year.

As I've always said, I've got faith in him and I'm happy to have him signed, but we can't blame his issues on the defense when the defensive issues are nothing new at all.

#2117013 Bleacher Reports Top 5 Captains of All Time

Posted by gcom007 on 15 February 2011 - 05:53 PM

Am I the only one bothered by the fact that Bleacher Report is just a giant collection of amateur blogs? Legitimate (if you can still even call them that...) are bad enough, but some of the blogs on that site are just dripping with stupidity; armchair drivel at its best. I'm fine with the idea of people having a blog and a voice, but I think it gets fuzzy when they start trying to pass themselves off as proper journalists when they blatantly are not beholden to the same standards of integrity and accuracy.

#2113818 2/9 GDT: Predators 4 at Red Wings 1

Posted by gcom007 on 09 February 2011 - 08:50 PM

Pathetic. This team has to give Howard a chance to get something going. He had a solid outing last game and they should've gone above and beyond to help him get another tonight just to get some positive momentum going. It's a real shame. There's no way he's going to get back into last years form if the team doesn't up the ante to help him get his confidence up a bit.

#2110506 Mallkin out with torn ACL/MCL

Posted by gcom007 on 05 February 2011 - 01:13 PM

I'm actually bummed out by this news. If we were to face and beat the Penguins in the Finals, I wouldn't want to have to hear excuses for why we won.

#2109498 2/2 GDT: Franzen 5 + Red Wings 2 (7) at Senators (5)

Posted by gcom007 on 03 February 2011 - 01:06 PM

When 4 of the 5 goals were scored due to defensive breakdowns and blown coverages, its hard to fault Howard. Speaking from experience, when my team plays well in front of me and keeps the shots to the outside, I can pitch a shutout or keep them to 1 or 2 goals scored. When my team plays poorly, it can be 6 goals allowed easy. This is why Ken Holland invests so much into his defensive core. The goaltender is the last line of defense. The defense is there to make sure it doesn't come to that.

The armchair fans in this forum and other hockey boards really have got to get out there and play the game.

Aside from that, the Wings didn't play their best game. Big deal. In the course of a season, teams are going to go through highs and lows. The Wings are solid at the top of the division and with an injured group of players that are coming back now. Be patient. Give it time. Still 32 games to go until playoffs.

I spent more time on skates growing up then in shoes. Plenty have. But this is the NHL. If you're a goalie in the NHL, let alone a starting goalie on one of the top teams, it is reasonable to expect a goalie to be better than Howard has been this year. I don't care what team you're playing for, what injuries said team may have and what defensive issues may exist, when you have to go into a game expecting that 4 goals will be scored against you, there's a real problem.

That said, the defense has been terrible, sure, but the reality of the matter is that we are not the only team that has defensive issues. Plenty of other teams struggle far more than we do with the stupid mistakes and they don't have the talent to at times compensate for it. Yet somehow, even the terrible teams seem to have goalies outplaying Howard more often than not lately. I'm not one of the one's calling for his head, and I've got faith that he'll recover in due time, but let's be honest here...defensive breakdowns or not, Howard's had a rough year, and if he can't get it going, unless Babcock goes with Osgood, we're toast come playoff time.

It is stupid to blame every goal on him, and he isn't getting much help, but any way you shake it, he hasn't played well and he's absolutely got to play a lot better. You need your goalie to compensate for some of the inevitable defensive breakdowns. Again, I really like the guy and I'm not throwing in the towel by any means, but this year, he's simply not playing well at all.

#2108713 2/2 GDT: Franzen 5 + Red Wings 2 (7) at Senators (5)

Posted by gcom007 on 02 February 2011 - 07:32 PM

The collective defense of this team has been awful for most of this season. Nobody on the roster gets a free pass on that point. The defense corps is especially bad, but they've been masking their defensive deficiencies with offensive production. Not a single defenseman on this team, including Lidstrom, is getting it done. And Howard is just not the same goaltender he was last year so the team is not able to keep the puck out of its net.

Yep. It's been bad the last few years. It was just less noticeable last year because Howard was playing like a man possessed. Team defense has been a joke since the coaching change. Maybe he's got nothing to do with this problem at all, but you simply can't ignore the correlation at this point.

What's really scary though is that if this defense played half as well as they're capable of, who would be a sure bet to beat us on any given day? Anyone? Bear in mind, we're still one of the top teams in the league, defensive issues and all.

#2103720 Nabokov claimed by NYI, refuses to report, suspended

Posted by gcom007 on 22 January 2011 - 10:30 PM

Anyone want to still try and suggest that Howard's not skating on thin ice with the Wings?

"The Nabokov thing was an opportunity for us," Babcock said. "If it had happened, it would've helped our goaltending because we have no Ozzie. Also, it's a message to everybody — the league's in constant change. If someone can take your job, they take your job. When you're a goalie and you give up four and the other guy gives up one, you don't like that."

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/a...m#ixzz1BpBUqOSY

As I've repeatedly said, this absolutely has at least something to do with Howard's play of late. It may not be the only reason, but it's no doubt part of the reason. They weren't too vocal about it before, but Babcock couldn't be more clear with the message he's sending in that quote.

That said, I repeat, I think it's very good that we didn't land Nabokov. Sure, Jimmy's struggled this year, but we know what he's capable of. This year will probably end up a wash for him, but it's experience, and even if he were to lose the starting role to Osgood, it'd be far more likely that the Wings would still sign him next year, and likely at a better price than we were expecting earlier this year. If he lost the job to an outsider, he's gone. I don't think either party would go above and beyond to make a deal happen.

But if he can hold it together well enough and doesn't chase starters money over the summer, I think he'd likely be a much better goalie in his 3rd season. He's learning a lot about the ups and downs of the NHL this year. He's got to be aware of the fact that he's got some glaring fundamental problems that he needs to improve upon, and after this year, he might be more likely to put in a hard summer working on them.

I really believe that we dodged a bullet by not getting Nabokov. He's not a long-term solution for this team, and our best chance at a long-term solution would most likely have been boxed out in the short run. It's just not worth it.

#2103583 Nabokov claimed by NYI, refuses to report, suspended

Posted by gcom007 on 22 January 2011 - 07:19 PM

That's one of those "Oh crap, I didn't see that coming!" situations. I'm sure they figured the Islanders were already tanking the season to get another top pick, and wouldn't want to risk improving this season.

Didn't see it coming? The Islanders were one of the most obvious if not the most obvious team that would claim him. What do you think these guys get paid for, to be more ignorant of the situation than a bunch of fans on Twitter and a message board???

#2103574 Nabokov claimed by NYI, refuses to report, suspended

Posted by gcom007 on 22 January 2011 - 07:11 PM

Garth Snow is being a ******. There's no getting around that. A smart GM would have likely contacted the player/agent they were going to claim off of waivers prior to actually doing so.

Personally, I didn't expect Nabokov to make it through waivers, and I'm not shocked he didn't make it. I just think it's funny the Isles are all butthurt that a player that signed with another team doesn't want to play for a bottom feeder.

Why would he do that when his agent came out yesterday and said that he would report to any team that claimed him??????????

#2103563 Nabokov claimed by NYI, refuses to report, suspended

Posted by gcom007 on 22 January 2011 - 07:01 PM

Everyone knew yesterday before he even signed that he'd have to clear waivers and it'd be virtually impossible for him to do so. All is well as well can be around here.

Then today, he is indeed claimed on waivers and everyone's pissed, shocked and offended.

Classic LGW reaction... :lol:

#2102813 Nabokov claimed by NYI, refuses to report, suspended

Posted by gcom007 on 22 January 2011 - 12:24 PM

Problem with this is how much Osgood will be able to play. It will take him a while to get into game shape, once he is healthy. And, while he is getting healthy Howard will be getting tired playing every game until then. This is why the Wings were trying to get Nabokov.

Everyone's written off Osgood his entire career. No doubt his career is winding down, but he was playing well despite injury before going down. If he comes back without pain, it stands to reason that he'll be capable of maintaining a solid level of play. So long as he's healthy, I think there's a good chance he'll start in the playoffs if Jimmy doesn't get going, and we've seen what he can do there.

I'd love for Howard to get more breaks, but I'd rather not have an outsider come in and screw with Howard's head even more. I think he'll get worn down a bit, but he'll get breaks here and there and will get a lot more rest once Osgood returns as Osgood will get more games than usual to get warm and see if he can get it going.

With Osgood and Howard, I think it's far more likely that Jimmy will get signed again over the summer. If he loses the starting job to an outsider, he's gone. I think it'd be a mistake to let that happen. I think this year is going to be a wash for him, but it'll be good for his development. It'll make him tougher in the coming years. Sign he and Osgood up for 1 year each this summer, Osgood for dirt cheap and Howard at low number. Give him another chance to prove it after having a couple of years of ups and downs under his belt. I think we'll see good things.

#2102343 Nabokov claimed by NYI, refuses to report, suspended

Posted by gcom007 on 21 January 2011 - 10:10 PM

I don't think this has anything to do with Osgood in any way. He'll be in the same boat competing once he returns and if he wants to come back next season, it's essentially a given that he'll be signed as he'll be cheap and has shown he's already willing to take a back seat.

If Howard were to end up the backup or worse yet, the 3rd guy out, simply put, he's gone come the off-season.

And with some help from Babcock's goalie management (opinion), Howard played himself into this position. I don't think the alleged anti-Osgood slant came in to play, and I think Babcock has been better, though no perfect, this year in handling that angle. He's not stupid and you better believe he realized the mistake of letting a guy rot on the bench in the playoffs. It seems like Osgood and Babcock worked out there issues in general. Babcock's had plenty of praise for Osgood since training camp.

But he's injured now and Howard is letting in 3-4 goals a game on a regular basis. That's the angle here. I'm not saying I like it and I still really would like to keep it to Osgood and Howard as I think Howard will be fine if given some more space and time to develop with Osgood carrying more weight.

I wouldn't have made this move unless I knew something that we simply don't. We're 2nd in the West and finding ways to win games despite missing a lot of guys. We just need to hang in there until Osgood's back and then let the situation between he and Osgood play out to determine who will be the tentative playoff starter and the ready backup.

#2102178 Nabokov claimed by NYI, refuses to report, suspended

Posted by gcom007 on 21 January 2011 - 05:54 PM

You hate Howard. We get it.

Asked about the Nabokov signing, Howard said: "That's out of my hands. That's up to management and what they think. If he can help us, he can help us."
Asked whether he thought Nabokov, 35, was signed as insurance or to push him, Howard said: "I don't need anyone to push me. I push myself. I work hard in practice every single day, and I just go out there and try to win games for the guys."

Read more: Wings know Nabokov a long way from joining team | freep.com | Detroit Free Press http://www.freep.com/article/20110121/SPORTS05/101210437/Wings-know-Nabokov-a-long-way-from-joining-team#ixzz1BiEnTq2D

This is why I called this a bulls*** move earlier. I don't think it's fair to Howard and I don't like the way he's been set up. I'm not angry at Howard for his play this year, though it's frustrating. And while I don't hate Babcock, you could say it angers me to consider the manner in which he's dealt with Howard. I've said all along that he's being set up to be run down and I didn't like it. I think he's got a load of potential and I feel like they've squandered it, and any way you shake it, to me this move feels like they've given up on Howard.

And I don't like it one damn bit.

Howard's the first guy to come through the organization that I think has the attitude and skill to be the long-term goalie since the last long-term goalie, Chris Osgood. I think it's total bulls*** that Babcock tried to fast track his development at the risk of him crashing, when he really should know better. Countless other young goalies who burn out fast tell the tale. As the pressure mounts and they're not mentally acclimated enough to the NHL game to deal with it, things fall apart. I don't think it was fair to Howard at all and I don't like it one bit.

Whether he moves to another team or never returns to a consistent form, I think it will be an absolute shame.

And the only animosity I will have towards anyone involved in the matter will be Mike Babcock.

#2102170 Nabokov claimed by NYI, refuses to report, suspended

Posted by gcom007 on 21 January 2011 - 05:38 PM

You hate Howard. We get it.

Seriously? Really? Did you even read what I wrote? Funny that I would hate him and not like this move because I think that it's very likely to box him out of Detroit. Brilliant logic as usual, Crymson.

#2102157 Nabokov claimed by NYI, refuses to report, suspended

Posted by gcom007 on 21 January 2011 - 05:30 PM

I see it as cheap but pretty damn good insurance.
1. You don't know what Ozzie's shape will be being off the ice for 6-8 weeks after a sports hernia surgery. What if he can't move in a certain way ...
2. Jimmy can perform in the playoffs, he did great last year but we lost in 2nd round. If he plays again this year, he will just get more mature and I think he has a good head on his shoulder. Don't know if he can take us all the way but people like Halak, Lehtonen, Niemi were the goalies that stood on their heads so anything can happen.

BUT having someone like Nabby in the bullpen if Jimmy does get the jitters or injures himself from now till playoffs is just good prudent decision. If anything, it shows Kenny doesn't have a lot of confidence in Joey MacDonald to either back up Jimmy or go to bat in case Jimmy goes down. For $250K to cover all those bases ... what a steal! I'm kinda surprised Nabby signed for so cheap but then he's probably still laughing to the bank with his $6 mill last year.

1. I think Osgood will be fine when he comes back. The fact that he was playing through the injury at all makes me think that he's going to come back strong. It might take him a few games to get sharp, but he's been looking good this year.

2. I like Jimmy and I have a lot of faith in his ability to develop into a real-deal starting goalie, but I don't think he's ready for the playoffs and I don't see how you can suggest he played "great" last year. Even the Osgood haters around here were calling for Osgood to go in! He had his moments where he came up big, but he had far too many moments where he utterly and completely dropped the ball. You don't become a playoff goalie overnight. I've maintained all along that it was just too much for him early on.

If we're able to keep Nabokov, it's really nothing but a positive in the short run. I trust him more than Howard in the playoffs at this current point in time and if indeed Osgood isn't able to get things going, it'll be good to have Nabokov around.

That said, I don't think this is good for Howard. He's struggled this year and this is hardly a vote of confidence in him. Do you think for a second that they would have made this move last year when he was playing great? Really? If he wasn't letting in 4 goals a game on a regular basis and getting pulled, do you really think Holland would make a move now? Even with the injuries, I highly doubt it. I really can't help but think this might be the first sign that Howard will not be returning next year. Think about this...

If he can't beat out Nabokov for the starting role after struggling last playoffs and then struggling this season, they're not going to want to throw a lot of money at him. Same can be said if Osgood ends up starting in the playoffs, but if Nabokov starts and does well, they'll sign him and Osgood up before Howard and Osgood. Howard's not going to take a backup role for a million or less now, but Osgood will.

One of two things has to happen for Howard to stick around: he either has to play great from here on out and steal the show and show some semblance of success in the playoffs, or Nabokov has to be terrible.

And personally, I'd rather hang tight until Osgood comes back and let them fight it out and keep them both around next year at reasonable prices. Having three goalies around is never a good idea. Even if they're all decent guys, the simple "two net" thing will get frustrating real quick.