I say Howard even if we go down. The only way I'd agree to pull Howard is if he gets absolutely annhilated and you can honestly look and say "he's done", much like Legace. He had that 'deer in the headlights' look and you knew he was cooked. Howard hasn't shown that to me at all. The first goal took 4 chances to score and the defense allowed that one. The second goal was a total lack of effort by the wings. The third goal makes me think Lidstrom WILL retire after this year. I can't say I've ever seen Lidstrom get totally owned on a play like that one. The fourth goal is a bad goal by Howard, no denying that. Still not enough in my mind to pull him.
The wings are not playing 60 minutes. Even in game 2 there were lapses. Game 1 was ridiculous, and Game 3 was even worse.
What I don't understand is, WHY? Why can't the wings find the effort for a full game? What the hell? They were pulling this in the late stages of last playoff. It's like they think because of what they accomplished that it will all work out, but they forget to put the effort in.
I think we will win on Tuesday, but we won't if we don't play with desperation.
Howard gave up a huge rebound that lead to multiple shots, and the initial shot went right into his glove. That's on Howard, no way around it, and it's a back-breaker of a goal to give up 30 seconds in. The second goal wasn't a horrible goal, but it was utterly terrible timing, and it wasn't far removed from soft. The 3rd goal was not his fault at all. The 4th goal was soft. Howard even admitted that 3 of the goals were blatantly his fault.
All year long, people have been saying that Howard's strong play gives the team confidence. What do you think this weak play from Howard has done to the teams confidence?
Again, how do you think the team feels when the goalie gives up a crap rebound leading to a goal 30 seconds in to game 3 after 2 shaky games that make up the entirety of Howard's playoff experience? If you can say that the team plays better in front of Howard because of his strong play in the regular season, how is it not reasonable to suggest that the team is looking less confident as Howard has looked less confident?
And don't get me wrong, I am absolutely not a Howard hater, and the damn writers were writing this about the Wings and Howard after he struggled to hold a lead in game 2, let alone today's mess.
At the end of the day, I see a rookie goalie who's learning the hard way what it takes to win in the playoffs. He's shown thus far that he hasn't learned what it takes to make it happen yet in the playoffs. That's okay. I wasn't one of the people feeling like he had to be a superstar hero in his rookie year, and I don't like the kid any less or think any less of him for this. I think he's still got plenty of potential to come out of this in the coming seasons and develop into a strong playoff goalie.
But I'll be damned if I care so little about losing that I'd be willing to watch Howard blow this series just because he "got us here." I don't give a s*** who "got us here." I care about winning. I think Howard would agree with me. I think it's one of the stupidestf****** things in the world to say "we win or lose with Howard." I'm sorry, but I'm a Red Wings fan more than I'm a fan of any individual player, and if a guys not getting it done, you've got to do what it takes to see if the next guy can.
Sometimes you've got to shake things up to get a teams attention, especially after a goalie throws things off. Everyone involved with the team knows that Howard's been huge for us this year, and everyone knows he's a rookie and it takes time for most guys to develop. Just as Osgood had to sit in the regular season, Howard may need to sit in the playoffs to let the veteran who knows how to handle the pressure of the big games do his thing. And Howard might learn a thing or two in the process.
If Howard can't give this team a chance to win (he hasn't thus far), they need to see if Osgood can pull off another "miracle," or just continue to be the strong playoff goalie that he's always been. It's no knock on Howard, it's no grudge and there's most certainly no bias to it. I like Jimmy Howard a lot.
But more than anything, I just want to win.
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