I don't like it, but it's just how Babcock operates. It takes an awful lot for him to bench a starter/veteran.
Yeah, you can.
From what I saw, he was pretty much totally screened and Franson ripped it far shoulder. I guess I'd like to see him be smarter about the tracking, but I wouldn't call it a bad goal. He doesn't get screened by two big bodies, he sees the shot, he probably makes the save.
And I'm saying this as someone who hates the you-can't-blame-Howard-for-anything-ever mindset.
I've tried to convince myself that it was the right call. But at the end of the day, we traded our best prospect for an aging veteran on an expiring contract, after saying ad nauseam that we would in no way, shape, or form be trading away key pieces of our future for short-term payoff. The sort-of irony here being that we felt we needed legitimate veteran experience to lead us down the home stretch here and back to the postseason - but it's been Gustav Nyquist who's singlehandedly kept us competitive, a point which I could unpack but won't.
One thing I really don't understand is why Jarnkrok couldn't just be moved to the wing. It worked for Nyquist, no?
Also: really hate to say it, but Howard really does need to figure it out or GTFO. He makes at least a couple fantastic saves a game, but then, don't most NHL goalies? We don't need "most NHL goalies." We need a wall, an impenetrable fortress, a source of strength, a shot in the arm. He's not getting paid the big bucks for "Well, you can't totally blame him for that goal. Or that one. Or that one. Or that one. Or that one. OK, maybe that one. But not that one. Or that one. Or..." At some point, it's on him. Indeed, as Babs has explicitly stated, this team - injured or healthy - will go as far as Jimmy Howard takes it.
This is something that really boggles my mind. It's been an issue all season long, and it's actually gotten worse and worse, to the point where we've been botching probably about a third or a quarter of our passes.
If there's one thing you don't want your team to struggle with, it's passing. If you can't pass, you're toothless and vulnerable in all three zones. Mirror regrouping, breaking out, charging through the neutral zone, cycling - it all becomes an adventure. Compound that with our injuries, Howard's struggles, and everything else, and it really is a wonder that we're still in the playoff picture.