Jimmy Howard, Not Chris Osgood, Remains The Answer In Goal For Detroit Red Wings

Joe HojnackiContributor IApril 19, 2010

GLENDALE, AZ - APRIL 16:  Goaltender Jimmy Howard #35 of the Detroit Red Wings makes a pad save on the shot from the Phoenix Coyotes in Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Jobing.com Arena on April 16, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. The Red Wings defeated the Coyotes 7-4 to tie the series at 1-1.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Red Wings need to stick with the man who got them to the party.

There is talk around the Red Wings media and fan community that Chris Osgood should start game four on Tuesday night for the Red Wings. This is not the right move. Osgood is a cold goaltender who has not won a game since December 12. He has only started one game since January, a 4-3 loss at the Flyers in the last week of the season.

Osgood will not be the savior he was when he replaced Dominik Hasek in 2008. At least that season he played a great deal down the stretch to keep him loose. He won't be the rock he was for all of the 2009 post season because he has been riding the bench for most of the last four months.

Why sit Jimmy Howard, a strong candidate for the Calder Trophy and one of the hottest goalies since the Olympics, just because of one bad game? He played solid in game three with the exception of the fourth goal. The first three Coyote tallies were the result of defensive breakdowns and the inability to clear the puck when in trouble.

Both of the Red Wings losses in the series have been a result of poor physical play and lazy defense. They have not shown authority when clearing the puck out of harm's way. They have not stepped up and laid enough body into the Coyote enforcers.

Instead of switching goalies, the Red Wings need to focus on solidifying their defense and winning the physical battles for the puck deep in their own zone. It was turnovers, not poor goaltending, that kept them from winning game three on home ice.