Blog Entry

How-ard they going to win with him?

Posted on: April 18, 2010 7:52 pm

The Detroit Red Wings were the NHL’s hottest team coming into the playoffs, in no small part because they were riding a rookie goalie who was a lot better than anyone might have expected.

But there were still questions about how Jimmy Howard would handle his first playoff situation for the Red Wings and after three games in this quarterfinal series against the Phoenix Coyotes, you can see why.

Howard wasn’t the only reason the uncharacteristically tentative Red Wings lost 4-2 at home to Phoenix in a nationally televised game on Sunday that left them behind 2-1 in the series. But he certainly played a role. In fact Howard is arguably the biggest reason Detroit is facing a surprisingly uphill battle

His play has been anything but steady, in marked contrast to what is happening at the other end. Ilya Bryzgalov, a leading candidate for the Vezina Trophy and the Hart Trophy as league MVP this season, has been giving his upstart team a chance to win in each of the games so far, while Howard, well, has not.

Jitters might have explained Howard’s effort in the series opener, even though it was his best effort to this point. Truth is the rookie Red Wings netminder has been fighting the puck since the outset of the series in the desert, and if it wasn’t apparent before, it had to be after Detroit dropped this pivotal Game 3.

The Red Wings seemed to be turning the tide in the series against the upstart Coyotes with their big win in the desert the other night. Howard wasn’t particularly sharp in that one, letting Phoenix come back three times after his team scored.  His teammates bailed him out by exploding to win the game in the final period, but whatever momentum this veteran team might have carried over disappeared less than a minute into Game 3 when Howard was caught out of position on a goal by Coyotes forward Sami Lepisto.

Howard was slow to get over on Wojtek Wolski’s go-ahead goal in the final minute of the second period – a sweet moment for the Phoenix forward because he victimized Justin Abdelkader who did the same to him for a key goal in Game 2. But the Red Wings goalie’s worst miscue came midway through the third period less than two minutes after his team narrowed their deficit to 3-2 when he blew a shot to the short side by Radim Vrbata. That restored the Coyotes two-goal lead and let them get into the prevent defense mode they play so effectively.

Of course you could and should give the Cinderella Coyotes their props too. Phoenix got caught up in a run-and-gun affair in Game 2, but recalibrated very quickly and got back to doing what they do best which is keeping things tight, taking advantage of opportunities, and having Bryzgalov work his magic in goal.

The general sense coming into this series was that if Phoenix had any chance of upsetting a playoff tested team that has been to the last two Stanley Cup Finals, Bryzgalov would have to be the difference maker. Compared to Howard so far, he is.

Category: NHL

Since: Oct 9, 2006
Posted on: April 20, 2010 9:16 pm

How-ard they going to win with him?

What a great win tonight for the Wings. As Babcock mentioned, Detroit playing solid defense makes Howard more comfortable, more confident, and better all around!

Since: Oct 1, 2008
Posted on: April 20, 2010 3:18 am

How-ard they going to win with him?

My butt from a hole in the ground?  You just said in your post that Howard wasn't playing well and that is the message I was trying to convey.  Detroit is playing tight because they have no faith in their goalie.

Shehe, yo are truely a joke Yotes fan if your truly think Detroit is done when being down 2-1 in the series.  You will see that inexperienced team start taking penalties when Deroit starts to show some life.

And as for Cinderella, you're team is not there yet, Cinderella will fade eventually and you cannot even begin to say you thought that slapped together team of misfits was ever going to make the playoffs at the beginning of the season.

That team shouldn't even be in Pheonix, they were a contender midway through the seaso and hadn't even sold out their building.  That team belongs in Canada in a market that will sell it out every night (Ontario, 1/2 hr drive from Toronto) but Bettman has his own misguided agenda.  I guess that is  a post for yet another thread though.

I will say this though, I am not a Detroit fan, so please do not confuse hockey talk with fan talk. You have said nothing in your post that makes me think you are a knowledgable hockey fan.  Did you even play past Peewee growing up, or are you yet another fair weather fan who has never laced up skates?

Detroit looks tired and I would contribute that to them playing 2 long seasons back to back as one posted correctly pointed out. Do not count Detroit and all of that playoff experience out. Especially when the Yotes are so inexperienced. If Detroit can get this series to game 6 in Detroit you better believe they weather the first 10 minutes and this game goes to game 7 in the desert.  And that Pheonix fans, as exciting as game 7's are (I have been to one for the team I cheer for) is someplace the desert dogs DO NOT want to be.

Since: Jul 18, 2007
Posted on: April 19, 2010 10:58 pm

How-ard they going to win with him?

I'm  going  to  tell  you  Wings  fans   the  truth , your  team  is  done We will find out when they make the playoffs for the 20th time in as many years next season. I know they will = not done. I will tell you the truth, you are so confused you need to figure out if you got pair or a hole. When you get that one down she/he let me know and then we can talk hockey. Until then go ride the toy you picked up from lovers lane. I said ride, maybe I should of said...ahhh see there you go now you got me confused.

TOOLS, this is what is wrong with America. No indentity.


Since: Oct 20, 2006
Posted on: April 19, 2010 6:00 pm

How-ard they going to win with him?

It's  the  Wings  fans  who  have  a  problem with  they're  team . Howard  isn't  that  good , and  the  rest  of  this  team  are  too  old . The  only  problem  that  I  have  with  Wes , is  calling  the  Desert  Dogs  Cinderella  team . I  don't  think  so ,  as  this  team  was  fighting  for   first  place  in  the  Coference  and   finished  at  fourth , there  isn't  anything  Cinderella  about  it . This  team  won  and  played  in  the  most  one  goal  games  this  season , and  played  a  good  defence  first . You  can't   say  that  this  team  doesn't  has  any  " name " player , look  at  Brygalov , Doan  , for  two . They  shut  down  the  Swede  line , which  is  the  whole  team  in  Detroit . Even  in  game  two , they  came  out  in  a  shoot  out  with  them , granted  , they  lost  but  still  made  the  Swedes  to  think  twice  about  it . I'm  going  to  tell  you  Wings  fans   the  truth , your  team  is  done . If  they  want  a  shoot  out , again , I  bt  you  3 to  one  that  they  will  loose  it . Why  you  ask ? In  the  second  game , the  Desert  Dogs  got  caught  wwith  penalties  and  you  won't  see  that  anymore  from  them  for  the  rest  of  the  series , well ,  what's  left  of  it . 3  Games   left  and  it's  " So  long " for  Detroit .

Since: Oct 20, 2006
Posted on: April 19, 2010 5:37 pm

How-ard they going to win with him?

Bad  Santa , this  is  why  you're  not  ever  going  to  be  a  coach , or  on  TV . Why  you  ask ? It's  simple , you  don't  know  a  hole  in  the  ground  from  your  butt . I  have  said  before  this   playoff   started , 'Yotes  in  6 . Did  Illya  have  a  bad  game ? No , but  Howard  did , all  3  games  now . The  core  of  the  Wings  are  the  old   players   of  this  teram . Daystu  or  whatever  his  name  is , Stuart , and  any  other  Swede  that  you  can  say , they  are  old  farts , playing  a  young  man's  game . If  you  didn't  see  it , but  those   players  were  weezing  and  fighting  to  get  they're  breathe , in  game  3 . That's  why  they  lost , and  loose  the  round , too  old  for  the  team .

Since: Jul 18, 2007
Posted on: April 19, 2010 3:23 pm

How-ard they going to win with him?

About 70% of that post was great Santa. It would definitely provide a different mid set with the players if Ozzy played. I don't know if it is the right move but Howard is not playing at all like he did in regular season (the reason we are here). So hard call if you are the coach. Ozzy is accepted here as is Jimmy, just a few fans spewing thats all. We are the more talented team, just not the team that has the most will and drive for it. It looks like the boys may be just content keeping the playoff streak alive (19 yrs. straight) and doing some grilling, drinking, and golfing. It has been a long few years for them.

LETS GO Red Wings!

Since: Oct 1, 2008
Posted on: April 19, 2010 2:30 pm

How-ard they going to win with him?

Wow, I haven't seen this many uneducated hockey fans coming out of Detroit, or at least who cheer for Detroit  since... forever.

And I haven't seen so much panic either.  First off I would like to comment on Barry Melrose last night on ESPN.  Barry, being a hockey fan, player and Canadian I think when I say "You are a douchebag" people will listen. Melsrose said last night that if we saw Osgood in the playoffs for Detroit then Detroit was in big trouble.  I ask why?  Because he had a bad season?  I do believe that coming into the playoffs last year he was not playing very good hockey either. Chris Osgood is the most underrated goalie to ever win 2 Stanley Cups as a starter and another as a backup behind Vernon.  He has 3 Stanley cup rings and all everyone in Detroit has ever wanted to do was run him out of town, much like you did when he played in St Louis and New York for a couple of years.  But the cat came back and won a Stanley Cup.  And now Melrose is on national television saying that Detroit should stick with Howard and if you see Osgood then Detroit is in trouble?  This is why Barry Melrose is not in the NHL anymore.  He was a garbage coach who had Gretzky on his team when they went to the cup and he was an even more terrible GM helping Tampa become the doormat that it is today.  And this is a person ESPN emloys and has  spout off to Americans on National Tevevision?  No wonder some of you Southern hockey fans have trouble understanding the game, a retard is trying to tell you what is what.

What Osgood will bring Detroit if they start him in game 4 is stability in goal and a calm both in the dressing room and when the game gets into the final minutes and is tight.  When the game is a goal apart and you need a big save.  It goes a long way to know as a forward or defenseman that your goalie is going to be there for you during crunch time and there is an ease that will fall over your team, a trust that you have a guy back there who will go to the wall for you, a guy back there who has 3 rings and two as a starter, a guy who has been there before, a vetran, a winning goaltender who knows how to seal the deal and get the job done. That enables your hockey team to play loose which is what you want.  You do not want a hockey team playing tight, playing as Detroit is now. And that is because they have no trust in their goaltender to make the big save. babcock needs to make this switch, he did last year and they rode him to their 2nd cup finals in a row and was winning game 7 away from Chris Osgood and Detroit winning back to back cups.  Do not be short sighted in all of this Detroit fans.  Do not forget who has buttered your bread for so many years in the past. Joeseph didn't win you a cup and Hasek was not exactly the king when it came to playoff crunch time.  Osgood has proven he is a playoff performer for years. What does Chris Osgood have to do in order for the Detroit faithful to accept him and want him in your goal when the going gets tough?

Guess what, you are down 2-1 to a less talented team and your rookie goaltender is floundering.  The going is officially tough now.

Since: Jul 5, 2009
Posted on: April 19, 2010 1:40 pm

How-ard they going to win with him?

You guys have to stop blaming Howard! He has only let in a couple soft goals in the whole series...Morris blueline slapper (game 1) and Vrbata goal yesterday. The Prucha goal was a slow can't let a forward skate by you like that. Wolski's was a good backhand shot and Lepisto's should have been cleared by the defenseman.

If anyone has played soft in goal it has been Bryzgalov! Both goals yesterday were soft, 2 in the first game and 4 in the 2nd game! The difference in the series is the Coyotes want it more than Detroit....they have been tenacious in their forecheck and hitting. I was suprised when Doan got hurt that the Yotes were still very physical. If the Yotes win game 4...the series will end in game 5!

Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: April 19, 2010 12:25 pm

How-ard they going to win with him?

Maybe Howard hasn't been terrible but he hasn't been the goalie that he was in the regular season. What Wings need is the goalie who can stop the puck despite defensive lapses. I told you he was a question mark for the playoffs and I still think so. 

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: April 19, 2010 9:38 am

How-ard they going to win with him?

Uh, Wes - not quite sure what series you're watching,but Bryzgalov has NOT been the difference.  he gaveup a really bad goal in Game 1.  but his team out-played and outworked the Wings.  then he got lit upfor six goals in Game 2.  today, once again - thedifference was the Coyotes d-men and forwards.they wanted it more.  it's not like Bryzgalov wasstanding on his head.  has Howard been strong?no.  but if guys like Franzen and Cleary don'twake up, it's not going to matter.  and Phoenix,as a team - will move on...

EXACTLY !! Normally I'm a big Wes fan but I don't agree with most of what he said in this story and think Detroit fans need to start learning how to analyze a hockey game instead of pointing a finger at the goalie.  Our team defence has sucked terribly so far in this series and our so called top line that's supposed to include Datsyuk has been invisible for more then half of every game.

In game 1 Howard gave up 3 goals, all 3 I believe were on the powerplay and NONE were his fault.... Bryzgalov gave up a horrible goal in game 1 and for the last half of the game faced very few quality shots.  In game 2 it was a wide open affair for about 10 minutes and all hell broke lose.  Howard gave up 4 goals with once again a terrible defence and Bryzgalov got torched in a big way. 

Yesterday??  Yes. Bryzgalov played well..... Howard on the other hand gave up ONE bad goal, the 4th goal.... we would have lost anyway.

We need at least 3 of the 4 lines running at full speed and our d including Kronwall and Lidstrom and even Stuart to play their best hockey. 

Enough with blaming Wings goalies for God sakes.... give me a break. 

It's not like we've been outplaying Phoenix every period, we've still not played 60 minutes or even close to that in a game this series.  In game one we played about 30 minutes of hockey and then fell asleep.  In game 2 we played 30 minutes again, the last 30 and basically slept the first half.  And yesterday we played well the last half of the first maybe.... and a little bit in the 3rd ..... that's it.

Not enough.....

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or