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Member Since 18 Dec 2003
Offline Last Active Aug 28 2014 10:36 PM

#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.

#2101401 1/20 GDT: Red Wings 4 at Blues 3 (OT)

Posted by gcom007 on 20 January 2011 - 10:43 PM

LOL. Look who's calling me a homer.

Glad to see you are Ken Holland and know what he is thinking. If you knew at all what you were talking about you would know that I have called Howard out many times. Ignore that fact though.

Truth. He's pretty objective for someone with an apparent goalie slant. Definitely a reasonable poster from what I've seen.

#2097725 1/14 GDT: Red Wings 2 at Blue Jackets 3 (SO)

Posted by gcom007 on 14 January 2011 - 10:10 PM

It is not at all a blessing when we have pretty much no one to lean on if Joey goes down. And really he has been nothing but a career backup and hasn't shown much. I am all for a good story for this season too like a Joey Mac coming out of the depths and playing some stellar goalie but to think that losing Jimmy (with Ozzie shelved til like March) is just nuts.

We'll worry about that when Joey goes down. Until then, he's been better than fine and while he'll no doubt show signs of his "career backup" status soon enough, all he has to do is not implode and we'll be fine down the stretch. Again, it's not like Howard's giving us any help at all these days. I truly believe time off could very well give him the mental break he needs to get his game back together, and we need that far more down the stretch than anything. Who cares if he comes back now and continues to struggle? What good is that for us?

#2097702 1/14 GDT: Red Wings 2 at Blue Jackets 3 (SO)

Posted by gcom007 on 14 January 2011 - 10:01 PM

Joey MacDonald has really looked good in the last couple of games. That's exactly what we need from a true backup right now. I'm not going to delude myself into thinking that he should be the starter like some will because until you play with the true pressure of being THE starter, you don't know anything about a goalie. Just ask Howard.

On that note, I think an injury is the best thing that could've happened to Howard right now. Honestly. The guy needs a mental break like nobody's business. If MacDonald can just keep us in games, we'll be fine for awhile and thus far he's done far better than that.

Hopefully by March we'll have Howard and Osgood back playing at their best and pushing each other for the playoff starting spot.

Good game by Flip and Miller's goal was fun to watch. I would've loved 2 points out of this but hey, there were some positives to this game. I'm not going to complain.

#2096228 Joey MacDonald

Posted by gcom007 on 11 January 2011 - 11:20 PM

Howard needs breaks for his head more than his body. As much as it'd be easy to pin some of this stuff on the physical toll of overplaying, I stand by the opinion that the mental toll is far more of an issue right now. He played this much and more last year and never flinched. He didn't flinch until the reality of being the starting goalie really set in come playoff time. It's carried into this season as well especially as the season's gone on. The guy has got the skills to be a starter, no doubt about it, but rushing him into it obviously hasn't done him any favors.

Look at the last few games and the outcomes for him. In Vancouver, he wasn't expecting to start and got surprised, and on top of that, with all of our injuries and the Canucks recent strong play, most were expecting us to lose. He was facing a different kind of pressure than usual and he responded exceedingly well. Might that not also be compared to last year when no one expected him to be the starter and he basically just fell into it when Osgood went down? He's just out there playing last year, just like he was out there playing Saturday night.

Compare that to last night and countless other games lately. He comes in clearly as the starter and struggles. He looks frazzled, he gets no bounces. Sure, last night and many other times he didn't get any help and the level of blatant softies is not at all equivalent to the goals against numbers, but does anyone honestly think that the Howard we saw Saturday night and the Howard we saw the majority of the regular season last year would give up 4 goals against of any nature in the first 15 minutes? No way.

And to make the point clear, compare Howard's time in net last night to Macdonald's. Macdonald wasn't given many new favors, but he went in with no pressure. You're already down 4-1 and you're just the Grand Rapids call up. This game isn't likely to add a loss to your record let alone is anyone going to hold it against you. He was just a kid out there playing hockey. It made a big difference, and let's be clear, Joey Macdonald may be a good kid, sure, but does anyone really believe that he's 1/10th the goalie Howard is? Of course not. Well, I hope not. I have one word for you if you do: Legace.

Jimmy looked like a different goalie in the playoffs. The calm, loose demeanor on his face showed more frustration and fear. He also played like a different goalie. This year, it's no different; he just looks more and more scared and frustrated out there as the season's gone on. Again, we know he's physically and technically capable of being a great goalie. He's been given time off to relax, rest and work with Bedard. But upon returning, he still allows 4 goals against early on in a game. He finished strong, but it was too little too late. Next game he plays great when he wasn't expecting to play at all. The following game, back to Jimmy having to be the starter again and suddenly it's 5 goals in 15 minutes.

And it's not that Jimmy Howard should have stopped those 4 goals last night, it's that he's more than capable of stopping 3-4 of those goals and he simply isn't these days. Again, this isn't a physical thing, nor is it a new thing. Just look at the last 2 months to see the pattern. I really believe that the only logical explanation is that Howard's mental game is a mess right now. As I've been saying since last year, I just think we put too much on him too early. The mental element of being a starting NHL goalie is not something that's learned overnight or in a rookie season. It takes time. He hasn't been given that time and I believe that to be the reason he's now faltering.

All that to say, I have plenty of faith in Jimmy Howard's ability to be a solid if not great NHL starting goalie. Unfortunately though, I have more than a few doubts about the Wings management being able to reverse what they've done and get him back on a developmental path that will allow him to have a career in this league as opposed to becoming yet another goalie living up to the cliche of "great rookie year followed by sophomore slump." Babcock and/or Holland seemed to be realizing the need to give him some space to relax, watch and work on his game lately, and I hope that despite Osgood going down, they try to keep up with it a bit. I'd rather lose some games with Macdonald to help Howard long-term rather than continue to burn him out early. It'd just be an absolute shame to if we drove him to the point of no return.

And if you don't believe it's possible, just look at the long list of young goalies who have 1-2 strong years before crumbling into mediocrity and oftentimes falling out of the league. Some struggle with injuries, some with consistency, some get burned out, some crumble under pressure while some just make no sense any way you look at it.

Just to name a few...

Brian Boucher, Roman Turek, Corey Hirsch, Blaine Lacher, Roman Cechmanek, Darren Pang (Calder finalist) and last but certainly not least, the king of the one season wonders, Jim Carey.

How's Steve Mason's (Calder winner) career going? How about Pascal Leclaire? Where's Martin Gerber playing now?

And how many other goalies didn't come out of the gates looking like stars only to eventually develop into solid NHL goalies?

Hell, Hasek was a backup for 3 seasons before he ever got a chance to be a starter. And he started in the NHL at 25 too. Who's to say whether Hasek could've done all that he did if he had to carry the starter weight early? Maybe he would've been fine, but maybe he would've crumbled under the pressure. Only one thing can be said for certain: sitting back and watching other successful, proven starters do it for a few years certainly didn't hurt him. Not one bit.

#2095745 Osgood Out 6-8 Weeks

Posted by gcom007 on 11 January 2011 - 10:55 AM

Babs and the staff actually chart out the goalie starts for the whole season before it happens. Barring injuries or complete meltdowns - thats how it works (plus or minus a game here or there). McDonald as as good or bad as he may be, will take over the starts Osgood would have had (as good or bad as he may be). Personally, I can't see McDonalds numbers being worse than Osgoods over the last couple seasons, so I figure its a wash on the backup goalie. Playoffs not included.

The curling took out Ozzie and Flip. http://www.letsgowin...efault/hehe.gif
Oz has probably has played his last game. I don't say this because I'm a hater, but because I don't think Babcock trusts him - especially if McDonald performs adequately

Honestly, I'm wondering if Babcock isn't already thinking Osgood might be the playoff starter. Howard's not playing well and it's been going on for awhile and during that time, Osgood's improved and we know that it's despite injury. I think they sent him to surgery so he's ready for the playoffs and this doesn't become a lingering issue. He even said last night, "we did this now so we can get him back with 20 games left to get him warmed up and ready to go."

#2095423 1/10 GDT: Red Wings 4 at Avalanche 5

Posted by gcom007 on 10 January 2011 - 10:29 PM

Aren't you an Osgood slappy?

Osgood fan? Sure. Defender? Sure.


Red Wings fan and defender.


Jimmy Howard fan and defender.

Imagine that, right? Difficult to process? Would you like to try to make it any more unnecessarily personal before you get back to constructively and objectively replying to anything I say, or are you just going to keep it cheap?

#2095404 1/10 GDT: Red Wings 4 at Avalanche 5

Posted by gcom007 on 10 January 2011 - 10:23 PM

The only one I did a facepalm is the one through the 5-hole. The others were major defense fails.

Who gives a s***? It's not about the goals tonight. Obviously not a giant Howard fail, but demonstrative of just how screwed up his head is. Again, I don't care what anyone says, if Howard had his head halfway straight right now, he'd stop 3 of those goals, defensive fault or not, great play or not. He's lost, and he just got pulled for the 2nd time in how many games??? More good food for his thought process. It's a s*** situation with Osgood down, no doubt, but this mess started last year.

#2095386 1/10 GDT: Red Wings 4 at Avalanche 5

Posted by gcom007 on 10 January 2011 - 10:19 PM

I don't care what anyone says, I won't believe for a second that it's been smart to put so much pressure on Howard both mentally and physically. I've been complaining about it since it started and I called this happening. I'm no genius, it's really pretty damn simple to figure out. Goalies take a lot of time to develop and Howard's development went slower than most already in the AHL, but the NHL is a different game. It was absolutely insane to play him night in night out last year and then kick into the same habits this year after he clearly struggled in the playoffs.


What's going to make that a moot point real fast? His head.

Say what you want, but they've done nothing but set Howard up for failure early on in his career. No way I'm going to buy that this guy isn't capable of being better. His head is a mess. You can see it in his eyes; it's anger, frustration and more than anything, fear.

He never should have been put into this position this early on. It was a stupid, absolutely idiotic coaching decision. Fans didn't have any patience and Babcock didn't have any patience; no foresight. Now the team is paying for it and more than anyone, Howard is paying for it...and it was never fair to him.

#2095302 1/10 GDT: Red Wings 4 at Avalanche 5

Posted by gcom007 on 10 January 2011 - 10:05 PM

I was so happy for Howard after Saturday night but I immediately couldn't help but worry about how the next game would go. It seems like this has just become the norm for him this season. One great game followed by mediocre-average play. He's gotta be better than this given our current situation. Whether you could say this is a bad game for him so far or not, you absolutely can say that he needs to be better and that's all that matters.

Everyone has to be better, but for the love...

And I wrote this after 3rd goal, 4th goal can't be blamed on Howie at all. Now Macdonald...why, Osgood, why?!?! Stupid groin...let's hope tomorrow's surgery goes beyond well and they find only the mildest of issues.

#2093535 1/7 GDT: Red Wings 5 at Flames 4 (SO)

Posted by gcom007 on 08 January 2011 - 02:08 PM

Had Howard saved those 3 softies, this game wouldn't have gone to OT. Howard may have screwed the energy for tomorrow's game. Really getting sick and tired of Howa4d softies. Deflating.

Osgood should be named the official starter after tonight's circus.

Not yet. There's just no need for it. They both just need to keep playing regularly and if Osgood's rolling come playoff time, give him the nod, as you know he's proven in the playoffs and capable of elevating his game. And again, he has a lot to prove this year too after last years personal disaster.

And honestly, I'm fine with Howard's stock coming down a bit. Considering he's got some weaknesses that have yet to improve and given that they've become a bigger issue lately, it'd be premature to give him a big money contract. He had a great rookie season but he's had a very inconsistent sophomore season. I'm all for keeping him in the fold as I think he's a good goalie who can eventually become the reliable goalie we need, but I wouldn't want to pay him $4-5 million a year, especially after the way this season has gone. If he stabilizes, sign him up for 2 years $2-2.5 million if he'll take it. Unless he comes back and wins us a Stanley Cup, it'd be idiotic to give him any more than that after this year. Sign Osgood up for 1-2 years at around a million and we'll be in good shape again next year with minimal cap hit coming from the goalies.

I think Howard will be fine long run, but they need to get back to developing him into an NHL starter as opposed to forcing him into it when he's not ready. Those rookie fumes can do wonders for you, but as the playoffs and his sophomore season has proven, they only get you so far. Even if your a skilled goalie in many ways, over time your weaknesses become more and more glaring and you've got to tighten it up or guys will work you out. He needs to work on the butterfly-happy stuff, the rebounds and puck control/movement. The recent flopping stuff I think is just part of playing down and desperate; I'm not worried that it'll stick. Let him learn from watching Osgood more with less pressure this year and next and I really think a lot of the weaknesses will work themselves out and he'll be ready to be a career NHL starter after next season.

#2093383 Stuart out 6-8 weeks with broken jaw

Posted by gcom007 on 08 January 2011 - 12:27 AM

Total bulls***. Stuart's a big loss. I almost wonder if he wasn't head hunting because he knew Stuart already had those stitches. Likely not trying to break his jaw but trying give him a good sting. In any event, the play was bulls*** and the league better review it and serve out a suspension.