Friday, February 20, 2009

The resting of Chris Osgood and the calling up of Jimmy Howard from Grand Rapids is a good move by the Red Wings because it serves several functions.
One is seeing what Howard can do. He is eligible for free agency following this season. The Red Wings need to know if he has made improvement from the past when it seemed like they were less than enamored with Howard.
The Red Wings always say the right things about Howard, but their actions have suggested something different. They signed veteran Ty Conklin to backup Osgood this season, and drafted a goalie in the first round, Thomas McCollum, last summer.
Howard has shown flashes of brilliance. Few goalies can butterfly the way he does. He’s also been very inconsistent when he’s played in the big league. You can just tell that has made the Red Wings feel uncomfortable. Will it be different this time? We’ll find out Saturday in Minnesota when he gets the start.
As for Osgood, the irony is his win-loss record is better than that of Conklin because he is way off in virtually every other statistical category.
This sends a message to Osgood that time is running out. The Red Wings need him to get his act together. The sooner the better. The playoffs aren’t that far away. Conklin has played well, but has just six minutes of playoff experience.
Name a veteran backup goalie who emerged out of nowhere to win the Stanley Cup as the primary goalie? It just hasn’t happened that way. Conklin - as well as he has played - would be a risk.
Howard, if he has improved, would give the Red Wings a Plan C, although they are obviously still trying to figure out what Plan A and Plan B are.
The preferred choice remains Osgood, but he is playing his way out of the No. 1 spot.

Random Thoughts

- Lets see, this coming week the Pistons play at Cleveland, Miami, New Orleans, Orlando and Boston. Not exactly an ideal situation to be facing. The Pistons’ saving grace might be how dismal the Eastern Conference is, because it may allow them a chance to elbow their way into the playoffs.
Or would backing their way in be more accurate?

- I love the scouting combine. Enjoy it being on the NFL Network where in the past the public - and media - couldn’t view the workouts. I still think the Lions should take a QB at some point early in the draft. Wonder how Kansas State’s Josh Freeman will workout this weekend.

- I kind of get the sense that Joel Zumaya and Ryan Perry will be competing with each other for opening day spots this spring. I mean, if Zumaya returns to form, it would greatly reduce the chances of Perry sticking with the big club heading north.



Blogger Eric Chase said...

Pat - Off the subject of today's post, and something we've debated in the past - Jim Schwartz's latest quotes are not the words of a man who seem interested in selecting a QB with his first NFL draft pick as a head coach.

Then again, maybe it's all a smoke screen.

9:12 PM 
Anonymous Hollis Keys said...

Book, Osgood got his ten days off because he is the only one who doesn't see how bad he is playing. A goalie has to read the play and recognize the situations around him and he is failing in those regards. A goalie who gets as few shots as he does shouldn't be having as much trouble with rebounds and freezing the play as he is. His mind has not been in focus all year long despite how bad the D has been in front of him and the sooner he realizes that the better this hockey team will be. If not then we will look for Conklin to give us Dwayne Roloson and Cam Ward type play because he has shown he is capable of that- journeyman backup or not.

4:19 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Eric Chase,
I think the Lions aren't letting on in the least what they are planning on doing. Doesn't seem like there is a left tackle worthy of being taken first overall.

7:39 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Hollis Keys,
They need Osgood to come back as refreshed as can be. Seems unlikely he will start Wednesday against San Jose, though.

7:40 PM 

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