BOSTON (CBS) – Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard was great in Game 1 and awful in Game 2, so which performance is more in line with who he is as a player?
“Both, ” according to CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty.
“The real Jimmy Howard is both Game 1 and Game 2. The reason why he’s not considered one of the best goalies in the NHL and he’s on that next tier is because he can’t stay consistent and he can’t consistently perform at that excellent level. He’s never been able to get the Detroit Red Wings past the second round and really deep into the playoffs, and I think part of the reason is because he’s had too many games like he did in Game 2.”
Coming off a shutout in Game 1, Howard failed to repeat that level of performance in the second game, and maybe you knew it wasn’t going to be his day after a failed attempt to try and clear the puck led to the first goal of the game early in the first, but there were other mistakes as well.
“It wasn’t just that huge botched play in the first period that led to the Justin Florek goal. You saw in the third period in a 3-1 game that Detroit was threatening and all of a sudden on the power play he can’t glove save a really easy shot from the wing from Jarome Iginla. It drops in front of him and Zdeno Chara pops it in for the goal to ice the game. That’s a save that any NHL goaltender absolutely has to make. He didn’t have it yesterday.”
Howard was bad on the ice, and even worse in the locker room. Haggerty was not impressed with how he conducted himself in the postgame.
“I was scratching my head after the game. [Howard] basically talked about screwing the pooch on that Florek play and he basically said, ‘I don’t think it had anything to do with the outcome of the game.’ That’s a ridiculous statement. I don’t know what planet he’s on.”
Meanwhile, Tuukka Rask has been excellent in both games.
The 26-year-old netminder has stopped 57 of 59 shots, and if his play continues while Howard remains up and down that could be the difference in the series.
“We all thought going into this series that the Bruins have a clear and distinct advantage in the goaltending category, and I think we’re seeing that play out,” Haggerty concluded.
Listen below for the full discussion: