...not literally, of course. There's barely enough room in that net for one stupid goalie. But all this talk about Jimmy Howard being on a "short leash" needs to stop. mLive gives us some quotes from a radio interview on WCSX with Ken Daniels.
When asked who should be starting between the pipes in Game 4:
"Jimmy Howard, and there's no doubt about it. Never in question, really. He's got you to this point. Does he have to be better? Yes. The main thing I liked about Jimmy, he owned the bad goals – 'untimely goals,' he said.."
Click the link if you want to actually hear the whole thing. It actually doesn't really sound like Ken Daniels, but who knows. Regis McGuire doesn't sound like himself when he does radio talk either.
But the point is that we have to back out goaltender. Jimmy hasn't stollen a game for us in this series...yet. But he also hasn't blown any games for us. For many years in Detroit, role of the goaltender has been simple: don't blow it for us.
Jimmy is doing his job.
Like everyone is saying, he isn't playing his best hockey, but if he can turn it up a notch, this series will swing in Detroit's favor. And Bryzgalov is just as likely to stumble like he did in Game 2 and if he does, this series will swing in Detroit's favor.
For Phoenix to come out of Round 1, they will have to sustain their high-level of play and Detroit (and Jimmy) will have to sustain their low-level of play. I just don't see things staying the way that they are.
Get behind your goalie. Jimmy is the man, and he's going to prove it to you.
"F-f-f-for @#$%'s sake, get on the bus!"