Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Do You Trust Jimmy Howard In Net?

I see tonight’s game against the Dallas Stars as an important one for Jimmy Howard. He has played well lately, and you can sense trust being gained in him by the organization and its fans. But as we only know too well in this town, it just takes one bad game to break that trust for a Red Wings’ goalie.
That’s what happened to Ty Conklin to a degree last year during a late season game vs. Calgary. It looked like Conklin would be the Red Wings No. 1 goalie in the playoffs, that’s how well he had been playing. The Red Wings had a 4-2 lead in the third period at home - and Conklin allowed three goals in two minutes. That quickly, it became evident they would go with Chris Osgood in the playoffs - despite Ozzie’s considerable struggles at the time.
The Red Wings need Howard to play roughly half their regular season games. Early in the season, it was obvious they didn’t trust him with that type of load. They have been forced into by Osgood’s flu.

Random Thoughts

- Say all the service time and salary issues were the exactly same, would you trade Justin Verlander even up for Zack Greinke or Alex Hernandez. I wouldn’t.

- Call me crazy because Ohio State isn’t that formidable this season - just the best team in an alarmingly down year for the Big Ten. But I do think Michigan has a fighting chance for an upset Saturday in Ann Arbor. I think the Wolverines will move the ball. Just don’t see their defense stopping anybody.

- Despite the Pistons’ loss to the Lakers Tuesday, Will Bynum continues to impress. If he is the real deal, it’d be nice to see a longshot coming in. Last year at this time, it would have literally drawn laughter if anyone suggested Bynum could put together a stretch of games like this.

My column in Wednesday's Oakland Press on the Lions and Browns being kindred spirits:



Blogger cgsmith1986 said...

it's Felix Hernandez. not Alex

1:51 PM 
Anonymous Jeff H said...

The key for Howard is to let him relax enough to not look over his shoulder whenever he makes a mistake. This means dealing with the odd bad goal.

I love Will the Thrill. His play could justify packaging Rip or Stuckey with Maxiell for a legit big man or with the Pistons # 1 to move up in the lottery.

2:50 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was certainly interesting for me to read the blog. Thanks for it. I like such topics and everything that is connected to this matter. I would like to read a bit more soon.

4:12 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I absolutely, 100% agree with you on Porcello getting jobbed and with not trading Verlander for either Greinke or Hernandez. Verlander is an absolute work horse and he is a gamer. Yesterday on ESPN, they were talking about all of Greinke's stats, and they raised the question of how many games would he have won with a good team. The part they failed to mention is how would he handle the pressure of playing for a contender. I saw him pitch one game this year and that was enough to answer that question. The game I saw was him pitching on the road against the Twins in the final game and the guy did not show up to pitch. Not only does Verlander have the talent, but he also has all of the intangibles that the guys on ESPN dont know how to measure as they have most likely never played the game competitively. Once again, I think your analysis is correct.

lil rob

5:07 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I am wondering about Will Bynum, too. Is he the real deal? He seems to make plays both on his own and involving others. I think he is a better distributor than Stuckey at this point, and I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. I think there is room for both players if Rip is traded, but don't you have to make a decision about your true point guard of the future at some point? I think Bynum has staked a claim in that discussion.


7:30 PM 
Anonymous John said...

I don't think KC would trade Greinke or Seattle Hernandez straight up for Verlander either...

10:16 PM 
Blogger Core Contrarian said...

No on the trade.

With Greinke, it is at least a discussion.

With King Felix it is laughable.

8:12 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

man do you say some goofy baseball crap now.

Verlander earned the 3rd spot behind Greinke and hernandez, based upon performance and Porcello in a pure ROY vote wasn't a clear cut victor, you allow one game to cloud your objectivity.

9:27 AM 
Anonymous Marty said...


I wouldn't trade Verlander for anyone. There have been better pitchers in the past, but no-one currently has the ability and productivity that Verlander has shown.


1:16 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...


12:34 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Jeff H,
I think Bynum is for real. Will The Thrill a great nickname. Also By-no-mite.

12:35 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...


12:36 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

lil rob,
There are many excellent starting pitchers in the major leagues. I think Verlander is better than all of them. He had a rough 2007, but learned from it. Look what he did in 2006, 2007 and 2007? Who throws harder, is bigger and stronger and is a better athlete? Nobody.

12:38 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Wonder what Bynum's numbers will be like at the end of the year and how much playing time he gets when Richard Hamilton comes back.

12:39 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Good point. I'm sure those teams are pleased with those two.

12:40 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Core Contrarian,
I would probably take Hernandez over Greinke. Not sure I'm in the majority on that one, though.

12:41 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

First of all, I am totally objective on the subject. Secondly, who had more wins among rookies than Porcello? Thirdly, who pitched in a pennant race. That Minnesota game was far from his only good one under intense pressure.

12:43 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I agree about Verlander. Seems to be underrated on national scale.

12:44 AM 

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