Howard has been excellent since the first goal, he's given us a chance to get back in this. Doesn't matter if it's 1-0 or 10-0, it's still a loss if we can't score a goal.
I've been fairly supportive of Howard relative to his struggles this year, but two games in a row he singlehandedly gave Boston early leads. It's clear that the goals aren't coming easy for us, so to give up such awful goals early on is just completely unacceptable. He's well into his career now and is getting paid top-10 goalie money; he can't do what he's done in these last two games. It doesn't matter how well he plays the rest of the game. When you're stuck playing from behind against a team like Boston with such a young team at that, you're asking for trouble.
Now I'm not saying he singlehandedly lost the games for us. Obviously you need to score goals too. But again, Howard is singlehandedly the reason why we gave up two early leads, and that's just no way to start games against a team like Boston. Given his status, his contract, and the build and make of this particular team, he needs to be leading and steadying the ship early, not forcing a team full of rookies to play from behind.
I want to like Howard and I have for some time, and I can agree that he played well today after giving up the two first period goals, but it's really, really hard to overlook the way he's started these last couple games given that it's the playoffs. I think it's safe to say that he's worn out his "grace" goals for this series. He needs to be competing all the way through and not be giving Boston any more easy goals, especially early on.
- roboturner likes this