Our latest article was linked on Puck Daddy yesterday. Yet, as usual, when it is anyone other than Greg Wysh from Puck Daddy, they included their usual hate on Wings fans. This time is was some new guy, Harrison Mooney, who's like a really poor man's Ryan Lambert:
Nightmare on Helm Street thinks Jimmy Howard, who was just named the NHL’s second star of the week, is an elite netminder. Take it with a grain of salt, though — When it comes to elite netminding, Detroit fans aren’t the best judges.
I actually think that Detroit fans know what elite netminding is more than any other city in the league. Why? Well we've seen it all.
Starting, of course, we've seen the bad. Think Tim Cheveldae, Bob Essensa, and Chris Osgood circa 2008-2009 regular season.
We've dealt with the average and unreliable. Think Manny "I'm So Sad" Legace and Curtis Joseph.
We've had the good enough. Think Mike Vernon, Chris Osgood's first go around, and Joey Mac.
We've had the batsh!t crazy. You know who I'm talking about.
Yet elite goaltending is something we've only known a few times. We used to see glimpses of it, in the playoffs, but on the opposite side of the ice. Think Marty Brodeur in 1995, Patrick Roy oh too many times, J.S. "I'm a Manatee!" Giguere in 2003 and 2007, Kiprusoff in 2004 and maybe even Rollie the Goalie in 2006.
So yeah, we've seen elite, but only in a crazy hateful rage, until 2008 that is. That's when, for the first time in his career, Osgood decided to have an incredible season and playoffs, stealing the starting job right out of the future hall of famer's hands. Sure the next regular season was pathetic, but we saw it again that playoffs, which was maybe even a more impressive showing.
So as Detroit fans, we know what we are talking about. They always say Detroiters are harder on goaltenders and quarterbacks than any other city. Hell, we made Joey Harrington cry. So it must mean something that we've embraced Howard.
Howard was great his rookie year. Yet he wasn't elite yet. There were still too many holes in his game, too many goals which he should have saved. Last season, for much of it he suffered from the sophomore slump. Yet near the end, he caught fire and thru the end of the playoffs was incredible. Yet, I still wasn't ready to put him into an elite bunch. Because as I just explained, we know elite. Howard was close, but not there.
Yet this season, I think I'm seeing signs that he's made it. I never worry about being out goaltended (is that a word?) anymore. Jimmy's dominate, consistant, and reliable and has been since the 2/3 mark of the previous season.
However, probably one of the best signs is the fact that the Wings have already suffered a slump for the ages this season. Yet the only two players remained unaffected during that time: Lidstrom and Howard. Howard's play kept that slump from being a team killer. Playing well when noone else around you is is one of the toughest things to do in hockey. Yet Howard was able to pull it off and is continuing to dominate now that things are clicking.
Those are signs of an elite goaltender. And I'm more than qualified, as a former collegiate (stupid) goaltender, but moreso as a Red Wings fan, to make this determination. Eat one Mooney.
WIIM has started a campaign to get Howard in the All-Star game. Get Jimmy the recognition he deserves.
Haha thats quite funny. As a former uni goalie I like to think I know a little. Little too much ozzie bashing going on in this post for my liking Chris, but I'll let it slide. I think we know enough to know a good goalie, at the same time we never rely as heavily on one as some teams. I think Brodeur is utterly overrated, especially in the last 5 years. Jimmy can't be elite after two years, thats not allowed. Elite is showing consistent excellence, and if he keeps going this way, he definitely will be. As for luongo, bwahaha, I love how the low picks always get to be "elite" even when they prove nothing e.g. Ovechkin.
@Reddy exactly what i was going to say about Ozzie, i am a huuuge Ozzie fan. but i do love me some Jimmah! He's great, in every way. Hopefully he'll be a life-long Wing
Rinne is elite (I personally think he is the best player in the league today), he's played only one more year than Howard. Provided that this year continues as it is, Howard is certainly elite. And no Osgood bashing, he's been great when we needed him to be, one of the all time greats. His first stint was solid, but not spectacular. His second with the Wings was a roller coaster, but when he was on, there were few better.
Let Howard stay a sleeper I say, let him go underestimated all the way to hoisting what will be rightfully his come June, and what, no mention of Norm Maracle? Denied.
Of course I remember ticker. I just didn't think he was a big enough part of our history to include 'em.
@moorecha in retrospect I agree, but shit, at the time... I remember well, him battling Hodson for the backup spot, all the hype around him from his AHL numbers... A few +50 save performances, I thought he'd be the next big thing for a while...
@D.M.N Maracle totally popped into my head when I was reading this and wondered if I was the only one to remember him hah.
I've already voted for Jimmy 60 times, and I'll make it 90 and top out once I figure out how to make nhl.com realize I'm on my phone. And wtf does puck daddy know about goaltending? Hell, my brother was a goalie and I think that makes ME more qualified than any of them to comment on the subject; I've been there through technique training, post game talks, full team practices, the whole thing from a goalies's perspective. Ugh. The fact that people still consider Luongo an elite goalies is hilarious and he slept his way through the playoffs and seems surprised when he got pulled 3? times.
This just makes me mad. Detroit fans know about elite goaltending, we have Sawchuk's number hanging from our rafters and watched Hasek do head stands for years and we don't accept anything less than that level of playing and dedication to the game. We still argue over whether Ozzy is hall of fame worthy and he was our staple for years, that alone should make us better judges than the "we hate everything about the Red Wings" writers at Puck Daddy.
I recognized Jimmy had potential and deserved the Calder nod he got. And I think he deserves the recognition for how great he is.