Thursday, February 21, 2013

Time To Unleash the Monster.

    Jimmy Howard is a workhorse. He has a insatiable desire to play every single game, and that passion drives him to work harder and play better. Howard played 8.66 of the first 9 games (Monster played the third period of game 1) and 13.33 of the first 16 games (Mrazek played two games and Gustavsson relieved Howard in the first period of game 16). When Babcock sat Jimmy against St Louis and put Mrazek in, Jimmy was pissed. I'm glad he was pissed because he wanted to play because that drive and passion are necessary for a good goalie. That being said, we can't keep riding Jimmy so hard, even if he wants us to. Jimmy's workload has increased because of  the condensed season, lack of training camp, our Lidstromless defense, injuries, rookies, and the team's absolute lack of confidence; he's also seeing an increased number of shots. Last year he saw an average of 28 shots per game and so far this year he's seen an average of 31 shots per game. That may not sound like a lot, but it's early in the season and more shots on goal plus a weaker defense mean the goalie has to be not just good, but great most nights. Remember how rested and refreshed Jimmy was having the game off against St. Louis? Now that Monster is back, we need to take some of the pressure off Jimmy, give him more rest and start Gustavsson.

*It's just been announced on Twitter that Jimmy Howard will start tonight*

     Monster has only played three periods and some change in a Red Wings uniform, and after the OT goal by Nashville, some people were ready to condemn him and I'm pretty sure a couple wanted to run him out of town. We haven't seen enough of him to make a judgement one way or the other, but I've been excited about signing him since it happened.

     Toronto is the place where good goalies go in and they come out a shell of their former selves.This may sound extreme, but is sure seems to be the case. There are some serious issues with the goalie coaching staff and their techniques on the Leafs, but this summer I was thankful for that. François Allair, the Leafs' goalie coach for the last few years "quit" over the summer. He's most noted for helping to develop Patrick (Statue of Liberty) Roy, but has become somewhat controversial and I call him the goalie killer, because he has one mold that he tries to cram all goalies into. Gustavsson likes to play a more stand up style, but when he got to Toronto they tried to re-write his programming and force him to play butterfly style. Then they wondered why he struggled (aside from playing in front of the Toronto Maple Leafs). Wait, so you took a goalie who was good enough that you signed him to your team, then tried to change what made him good, then scratched your head when his play suffered? God damn geniuses! So when we signed Monster I was excited because I knew Ozzie and Bedard would work with Monster to get him back to his game and natural style (which is what made him so good to begin with). It may take some adjustment and time, but I'm optimistic about Monster.

He also has a kick ass mask.

We need our goaltending tandem to be sharp, rested and on the top of their game and in the fustercluck of a season, that means now, more than ever, that Jimmy Howard needs some rest. Come on Babcock, put Monster in and let's see what he can do.

Let's Go Red Wings!

No comments:

Post a Comment