I hate to say I told you so, but......I told you so. Jimmy Howard is going to cost the Wings their first round series against the Phoenix Coyotes.
Howard looks lost out on the ice. He is sliding too far over, getting himself turned around, and playing like an adult league rec goalie. There is nothing that he has done well, at all.
But, its not like Howard is getting a lot of help.
Kris Draper is too old, Johan Franzen doesn't look interested, and Nick Lidstrom is starting to lose more than just a step. Plus, the team is just giving the puck away in their own zone. A plethora of turnovers have ended up in great scoring chances for the Coyotes this whole series. The Wings are lucky to have won a game so far.
There are a myriad of reasons to the way the Wings have faltered against Phoenix, but the biggest and most obvious is Howard. He just doesn't have it. The confidence he had towards the end of the season is completely shot. Howard has allowed 11 goals in the first three games. 11 bad goals. Each more backbreaking than the last.
Take game two for example.
The Wings claw back into the game with a tremendous power-play goal by Henrik Zetterberg, only to have Howard gift-wrap a goal for the Coyotes a few moments later. Detroit evens it back up, but yet again Howard lets up a weak goal. He just looked out of sorts the entire game.
The Wings should have lost.
Now, game three seemed like the time where the Wings would take the series under control, however Howard struck again.
Not even :30 seconds into the game! A sloppy goal that sucked the energy and excitement out of the Joe and into the Detroit River. Howard looked like a boxer who had just been knocked out by Mike Tyson. He was turned around backwards, fumbling in the crease, utterly lost.
By now, you know how the rest of the game went. Pretty much more of the same.
Detroit is in trouble with a tough, tenacious Phoenix team that is taking advantage of a minor-league goaltender. His play has been inconsistent at best, leaving most Wings' fans with doubt that Howard can be the goalie they need him to be. If Howard can't stop shots from Radim Vrbata and Petr Prucha, how could he ever be relied on against Johnathan Toews, Joe Thornton, or Sidney Crosby?
Guess what? He can't.
Howard needs to step up or this team will be searching for a new net-minder before you can say Dominik Hasek.