Actually, I think what pisses me off the most about this is that it really is the Nashville series all over again. Perimeter, perimeter, perimeter. We're suppose to have grown since then. We're supposed to be tougher, harder, gutsier, heavier, younger, faster, way more aggressive. Instead, we look like a shell of a team.
Granted, it's impossible to overstate how much we miss Z and E right now.
At this point, I would put more blame on the lack of goal scoring. Kinda hard to win games when you only score 1 goal per game. Heck, today we have nothing and only 3 shots on goal.
Lets put it this way, if Howard was allowing 5 goals and losing 5-4, I would agree with you. *cough cough* Lindback
Fair or not, Howard has to stand on his head just to give us a chance in this series. We knew that going in, and nothing's changed. He can't let in softies. Can't happen. That we're not generating offense just hammers the point home. Time for him to earn his big fat contract.
The Wings were not outskilled yesterday. They weren't outcoached. They were beaten down. Their talent is not in question. Their manhood is. I have to think that the short plane ride from Boston last evening was pretty quiet.
This is not about the calls and not about goaltending. I know. Both are important. But neither are the storyline that will define this series. The entire thing is going to come down to whether the Wings are willing to hold on to the puck a little longer and absorb punishment like they've never had to endure, for the sake of speed.
This is not about Smith's dance with Chara. That was a sideshow. It meant nothing and nobody should be claiming it was an indication of anything. Coincidental roughing minors? Really? We're going to point to that as an indication...of what? Tempers?
This series is not going to be determined by toughness after the whistle. Character and courage between them will be the deciding factors. Grit. It's going to come down to the kind of grit that keeps a strong team from having their way with you in front of your own net, or in the corners.
The thing I don't like about him trying to play the puck more in these past two games is that, by his own admission, it's because he saw Mrazek do it and he thought it was great. Which is fine. I'm all for trying to improve your game and become a more complete player. Just save it for later, i.e. after the playoffs. Don't experiment against the frickin' Bruins. He was probably in their heads a bit, and now he's not, largely because of that stupid mistake.
As for him being average, I'd say he's probably above average. Name 12 goalies who would tear s*** up behind our defense.
About Howard - he made a really weird comment yesterday, something to the effect of "You don't really know how it's gonna go until you're in the game. Maybe you have a good night, maybe you don't. You never know." Does kinda make me wonder about him a bit.