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Jimmy Howard, Rusty or Just Not Ready..?

I have always been a HUGE Jimmy Howard fan and supporter, but tonight was just plain awful.

The Red Wings lost to the Nashville Predators Monday night, 6 – 4. The entire team played horrible in the first period, allowing the Pred’s to score twice but Justin Abdelkader came up big with a goal himself. Those two goals the Pred’s scored in the first were goals Jimmy Howard would have never let past him before. Both were completely open and view-able shots. I do understand that Jimmy has been out since December 10th with a knee injury and his game isn’t going to be up to par but, if he is well enough to play then he needs to be READY to play. After the Predators scored their 3rd goal and the only goal in the second, is where the Red Wings finally woke up.

The third period had a total of 7 goals back and forth. It started with the score being 3 – 1 Pred’s when the Magic Man opened scoring to make it 3-2. Four minutes after, Mike Fisher scored on sleepy bear Howard that gave them another 2 goal lead at 4-2. Around 6 minutes later, Quincey scores to cut the lead again to make it 4-3. Thirty seven seconds later, the Predators come back with another goal by Colin Wilson to make the score 5-3. With five minutes left in the game, Patrick Eaves cut the lead by 1 again to give the Wings another fighting chance. Coach Babcock finally pulled Jimmy out of net and to take him out of his misery for the extra skater. The Predators were on a power play so the game was still 5 on 5 with an empty net that they of course scored on, to end the game at 6-4.

When a goalie has a bad game, is it front and center. Unlike when a forward or defensemen have a bad game and it isn’t as noticeable. So, I understand the pressure that Howie is under and maybe we got spoiled by his amazing play last year. But the reason we lost this game was goaltending, plain and simple. The Red Wings as a team started off horrible but, they fought really hard in the third and deserved to at least tie the game.

I still have 100% confidence in Jimmy Howard. He will start playing better, after he get’s out of this funk and get’s completely healthy. He is a world class goaltender and a great guy and times like this will just make him better. The media rumor mill is stating that Jimmy will be one of the three goaltender’s for Team USA in the 2014 Olympics. The official announcement will be on Wednesday at the Winter Classic game, in Ann Arbor Michigan. Hopefully no one from Team USA management was watching this game tonight..

And in case you live under a rock and haven’t heard what is happening on Wednesday, here is a little reminder.

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(Featured Flickr Photo by: the_mel)

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