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.
- Veery likes this