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Holland: we like Howard's "potential"

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04-04-2010, 01:03 PM
  #126
TheMoreYouKnow
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He's hardly a rock at this point, he has weak games, gives up softies on occasion, he's an okay goalie so far but we're not exactly heading into the playoffs with the young Patrick Roy between the pipes. I don't think we need to always alternate between guys being total busts and being future Hall of Famers, there's a good chance that Howard will simply be an okay NHL goalie like a Chris Osgood turned out to be.

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04-04-2010, 01:30 PM
  #127
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He better like Howards potential a lot 'cause Osgood gives us nothing. Do we have to keep him next year? PLEASE TRADE HIM! How about Howard-Niittymäki for next year?

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04-04-2010, 05:14 PM
  #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMoreYouKnow View Post
He's hardly a rock at this point, he has weak games, gives up softies on occasion
All goalies do this.

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04-04-2010, 08:54 PM
  #129
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Originally Posted by jokerit67 View Post
He better like Howards potential a lot 'cause Osgood gives us nothing. Do we have to keep him next year? PLEASE TRADE HIM! How about Howard-Niittymäki for next year?
Who do you think is gonna trade for Osgood? He hasn't shown any reason for a team to believe he can get them to the playoffs, and most playoff teams aren't looking to add a "playoff starter" to the roster when they already have a starter.

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04-04-2010, 09:02 PM
  #130
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Originally Posted by BlueMonk View Post
All goalies do this.
So all goalies are as good as each other? Obviously not. Howard isn't at a top goalie level as of now, that's all I'm saying.

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04-04-2010, 09:52 PM
  #131
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All goalies do this.






those were all huge playoff games.

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04-05-2010, 01:44 AM
  #132
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http://video.thehockeynews.com/mediadetail/1633346

Not sure if this is OT, but had to share its awesome. Video is titled "Jimmy Howard mix up".....I lol'd

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04-05-2010, 10:59 AM
  #133
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Originally Posted by TheMoreYouKnow View Post
So all goalies are as good as each other? Obviously not. Howard isn't at a top goalie level as of now, that's all I'm saying.
A couple things:

1. Cam Ward had a 3.68 gaa and a .882 sv% in 05-06 and then won the Conn Smythe, so being a "top-level" goalie in the regular season doesn't matter much as far as playoff performances go, and playoff performances are what matters. As long as you make the playoffs, which the Wings have done this year thanks in large part to Jimmy Howard.

2. The Wings won 2 Cups with Osgood as the starter, 1 with him as the backup, and would have won another last year if the team in front of him had shown up for either of the last 2 games of the Finals. If Howard turns out like that, then that's fine by me.

Ozzie looks like crap now because he's at the end of the road. It doesn't diminish what he's done during the rest of his career.

3. Howard has been better this year than former Vezina winners Jose Theodore and Tim Thomas. He's been better than Roberto Luongo, Jonas Hiller, Marc-Andre Fleury, Pekka Rinne, Craig Anderson, Tomas Vokoun, Evgeni Nabokov, Henrik Lundqvist, the aforementioned Cam Ward, Niklas Backstrom, Steve Mason, Marty Turco, and Jonathan Quick.

His GAA is equal to Bryzgalov's and his SV% is better. He's a tad behind Kiprusoff in GAA and a tad ahead in SV%. His GAA is equal to Brodeur's and his SV% is better.

In his starts, the Wings have gotten 66.1% of the points available to them. Of goalies with 50 starts or more, only 2 guys have a higher percentage. One is Nabokov, who has higher GAA and SV% than Howard, and the other is Ryan Miller.

The only guy that tops Howard in every category is Miller.

So if your criteria for judging goalies is stopping a high percentage of shots faced, allowing a low number of goals each game, getting the team as many points as possible, and winning games, then Howard is a top goalie.

If your criteria don't involve the actual games that are played on the ice this season, I suppose you could consider him to not be a top goalie "as of now".

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04-05-2010, 12:05 PM
  #134
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarcastro View Post
A couple things:

1. Cam Ward had a 3.68 gaa and a .882 sv% in 05-06 and then won the Conn Smythe, so being a "top-level" goalie in the regular season doesn't matter much as far as playoff performances go, and playoff performances are what matters. As long as you make the playoffs, which the Wings have done this year thanks in large part to Jimmy Howard.

2. The Wings won 2 Cups with Osgood as the starter, 1 with him as the backup, and would have won another last year if the team in front of him had shown up for either of the last 2 games of the Finals. If Howard turns out like that, then that's fine by me.

Ozzie looks like crap now because he's at the end of the road. It doesn't diminish what he's done during the rest of his career.

3. Howard has been better this year than former Vezina winners Jose Theodore and Tim Thomas. He's been better than Roberto Luongo, Jonas Hiller, Marc-Andre Fleury, Pekka Rinne, Craig Anderson, Tomas Vokoun, Evgeni Nabokov, Henrik Lundqvist, the aforementioned Cam Ward, Niklas Backstrom, Steve Mason, Marty Turco, and Jonathan Quick.

His GAA is equal to Bryzgalov's and his SV% is better. He's a tad behind Kiprusoff in GAA and a tad ahead in SV%. His GAA is equal to Brodeur's and his SV% is better.

In his starts, the Wings have gotten 66.1% of the points available to them. Of goalies with 50 starts or more, only 2 guys have a higher percentage. One is Nabokov, who has higher GAA and SV% than Howard, and the other is Ryan Miller.

The only guy that tops Howard in every category is Miller.

So if your criteria for judging goalies is stopping a high percentage of shots faced, allowing a low number of goals each game, getting the team as many points as possible, and winning games, then Howard is a top goalie.

If your criteria don't involve the actual games that are played on the ice this season, I suppose you could consider him to not be a top goalie "as of now".
Excellent post. I think you've done a great job documenting the numbers that prove, at least for this season, Howard is a top 5 NHL goalie. If he keeps playing at this level he will eventually pick up some hardware to further support the claim.

One season does not a career make, but Osgood doesn't really have a regular season that compares to what Howard has done this year. Ozzie has had some years with a lower gaa, but those teams were stacked and his save percentage was never above .920 for any length of time.

I'll put it this way - Ozzie was never a franchise goalie. He was good enough to win a couple of Stanley Cups behind very good teams, but when the Wings had the chance to acquire an actual franchise goalie we jumped at it. After one season in the NHL, Howard is showing that he's a potential franchise goalie. To solidify that title, Howard must duplicate what he did this season during several others.

IMO, it kind of looks like the worst case scenario for Howard now is that he becomes an Osgood - an above average goalie that you can win with. However, the upside is there for Howard to be something that Ozzie never was.

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04-05-2010, 12:10 PM
  #135
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And to the crowd that mentions Howard's low shutout total as a reason why he's not that great, keep in mind that one of those shutouts came when the lineup contained Kris Newbury, Brad May, Derek Meech, Doug Janik, and Ville Leino. So it's not like he has had stalwart defense backing him up.

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04-05-2010, 04:08 PM
  #136
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1. If Howard stands on his head and leads the Wings to the Cup this year, I'm willing to pencil him in for the Hall of Fame but that's a big IF.

2. Osgood has been good, not great. If Howard turns out as good as him that could be enough for a few Cups in his tenure IF his teammates playing in front of him are as good as those Osgood enjoyed during much of his career.

3. I don't view goalie stats with the Wings really as very telling about anything except that we play a very solid, responsible system and have very good talent including maybe the best D-man of all time.

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04-05-2010, 08:23 PM
  #137
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Originally Posted by doublejack View Post
One season does not a career make, but Osgood doesn't really have a regular season that compares to what Howard has done this year. Ozzie has had some years with a lower gaa, but those teams were stacked and his save percentage was never above .920 for any length of time.
Osgood's stats were fantastic from the beginning of the year all the way through January in 2007-8. He had a GAA around 1.8, a save % around .930, and was something like 19-2-1.

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After one season in the NHL, Howard is showing that he's a potential franchise goalie. To solidify that title, Howard must duplicate what he did this season during several others.
That's the typical bias towards inexperience we see here on these particular boards, though. If a guy has a strong first year he has an advantage in 'potential' over a guy which has already had a long career and has no real upside left to his game.

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IMO, it kind of looks like the worst case scenario for Howard now is that he becomes an Osgood - an above average goalie that you can win with. However, the upside is there for Howard to be something that Ozzie never was.
Well sure. Again, until a guy has a track record the possibilities are much greater. Let's put it another way: if Howard flops in the playoffs, suddenly he looks like a much less sure thing as a long term 'franchise' goalie. That's how tender this discussion of Howard's 'potential' is.

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04-06-2010, 11:21 AM
  #138
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I wonder if Holland likes Howard's potential salary. He is going to put himself in the Jonas Hiller camp if he has a sensational playoffs. Or if you listen to people around here, he is more deserving to be on the Ryan Miller end of the scale.

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04-06-2010, 11:50 AM
  #139
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I wonder if Holland likes Howard's potential salary. He is going to put himself in the Jonas Hiller camp if he has a sensational playoffs. Or if you listen to people around here, he is more deserving to be on the Ryan Miller end of the scale.
That's the price they'll have to pay for letting him "ripen" for so long. If they'd brought him up a year or two earlier they could have extended him when he was an RFA, but now they'll have to pay extra.

Even so, Hiller has a $4.5 mil long term deal. If Howard shows he can hack it in the playoffs that's not an outrageous contract. Most teams with decent goalies pay at least that much for them.

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04-06-2010, 12:05 PM
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It is still too early to get a good idea of how much money it will cost to extend Howard. I think right now the bare minimum is $3M plus a season. A solid playoff run + not faltering early next season = a base price above $4M. If Howard takes us to a Cup this playoffs, he's going to cost more than $6M a season to retain. Cam Ward, Ryan Miller, those are the comparable players his agent will use in that scenario.

This will be OK, though, in terms of the cap. Howard is poised to eat up a big chunk of the money that Lidstrom is currently making. Swapping a dominant defenseman for a dominant goalie would be a fine trade, if that's the way it works out. A successful franchise can be built around either one of those types of player.

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04-06-2010, 12:49 PM
  #141
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Not disagreeing with the possible numbers, DJ, but a big big flag went up when you had Howard and Lidstrom in the same sentence.

Right now, despite how well Howard's played this year and how poorly the team around him has looked at times, I'm still not entirely behind the idea of investing $4+m in a goalie. Yeah, teams like Chicago and Philly are billboard sized warning signs for what crappy goalies can do to really good teams. However, if you're not looking for a franchise goalie, I think there opportunity to pick up a mid-level goalie (like Osgood when he wasn't falling apart) is there.

Given our success with Osgood, I'd consider looking elsewhere if Howard's price/term gets extravagant.

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04-06-2010, 01:01 PM
  #142
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Well, it will come down to Holland's priorities. Will he continue to spend an inordinate (IMO excessive) amount of money on his defense while going cheap in net, or will he pony up if Howard continues to play like a franchise goalie - thereby earning the salary of one?

I don't know how this will turn out. Honestly, I think Holland should know better than to go cheap on his goalie. Legace in 2006 and Osgood in 2001 are good examples where substandard goaltending was a major factor in a first round exit, on teams that had championship talent.

Another factor - let's say that Holland decides he'd rather have a HoF defense with a cheap goalie. Where does he find a $7M replacement for Lidstrom? Those players don't grow on trees.

I believe that a large factor in Holland's strategy was that he had the main pieces to an elite defense already in place here. When Lidstrom retires, that won't be the case any longer. When coupled with Howard's development to date, it isn't a huge leap to see a change in strategy. Holland can set whatever priorities he wants, but he also has to play with the hand he's dealt.

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04-06-2010, 01:21 PM
  #143
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I don't think Holland would consider giving Howard a $4m+ extension yet. He's waiting to see how the kid does in the playoffs and possibly into next season. He can't extend him until July 1st anyway, so while I'm sure it has been discussed internally I doubt the conversation has been all that lengthy until they have some playoff tapes to look at.

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04-06-2010, 01:23 PM
  #144
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If Howard comes in next year and continues posting a sv% north of .910, the decision becomes a lot easier to tag him as a possible "franchise" goalie. My problem is that if we're spending ~$6m on any player, it needs to be someone we can be reasonably sure is a cornerstone of the team that will eat up a lot of minutes and bring a serious impact on the ice (lids, raf, Z, D) and I'm not sure we can reasonably say that of Howard yet. But it might be a leap we have to take.

After that, I hate that $4-6m range where a lot of good players end up. They feel like cap killers to me. Guys who aren't good enough to be "great" or "franchise" but who can make an argument for being in the tier below those "franchise" players. But these are the guys who most often seem the most overpaid and who could be replaced with a cheaper guy or two. So instead of one very good guy we can have two pretty good guys. I think a good recent example would be us hedging on Hossa while trying to keep Flip/Cleary/Hudler (okay, Hudler didn't work out but I don't blame Holland for that).

agree about working with the hand we're dealt. I wonder if we won't see the wings push for a short (1-2 year) extension to test the waters on Jimmy a bit more. If the contract is short enough, one of those $4-6m contracts could be okay.

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04-06-2010, 01:39 PM
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In response to the previous two posts - timing is critical. If I were Holland, I wouldn't begin seriously negotiating with Howard's agent until mid or late next season. First we need to see how he handles the playoffs, and secondly we need to see how he starts next season.

The only caveat is that waiting will cost us more money if Howard duplicates the season he's having. Kind of like the Kronwall contract, if we sign Howard this summer then we could probably get him for less money since he doesn't have a lot of experience just yet. But I think the risk of signing him without seeing him play more outweighs the possible savings.

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04-06-2010, 02:18 PM
  #146
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All the big money contracts will still be on the books when Howard's deal comes up. He isn't going to get anything over 4 mil in his next deal, not unless the cap climbs enough to allow for it.

Detroit already has 35.287 tied up in 8 players that year, and that's without Lidstrom who they will either need to pay or replace. And without Ericsson.

Spending that much on Howard would turn the Wings into a team that truly has to play a lot of dump and chase, unless some of the young guys in the system are up and really ready to play at a high level.

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04-06-2010, 06:19 PM
  #147
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Wow.
Based on one regular season, people are talking about a $3M or $4M contract?
That's insane.
Trade him, if that's the case.

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04-06-2010, 06:36 PM
  #148
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Wow.
Based on one regular season, people are talking about a $3M or $4M contract?
That's insane.
Trade him, if that's the case.
I'm not thrilled with it, either, but that might be the type of contract we will need to pay him if we want to keep him. We could trade him but, with ozzy turning to crap and Larsson/McCollum not coming along as quickly as we may have wanted our options will be limited. If we move Howard, how much would it cost to replace him? If the cost will be similar, I'd rather go with the guy we have as we at least have some idea what we are buying.

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04-06-2010, 06:51 PM
  #149
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I'm not thrilled with it, either, but that might be the type of contract we will need to pay him if we want to keep him. We could trade him but, with ozzy turning to crap and Larsson/McCollum not coming along as quickly as we may have wanted our options will be limited. If we move Howard, how much would it cost to replace him? If the cost will be similar, I'd rather go with the guy we have as we at least have some idea what we are buying.

Unless Howard shows he's a truly elite goalie, and he's not shown anything like that yet, then I see no need to pay him big bucks.

Trade him. Sign a Conklin or Legace or whoever.
Detroit hasn't had an elite goalie since 2002.
I don't see why need pay $4M for something an $800,000 goalie can provide: Adequate goaltending.

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04-06-2010, 07:06 PM
  #150
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Unless Howard shows he's a truly elite goalie, and he's not shown anything like that yet, then I see no need to pay him big bucks.

Trade him. Sign a Conklin or Legace or whoever.
Detroit hasn't had an elite goalie since 2002.
I don't see why need pay $4M for something an $800,000 goalie can provide: Adequate goaltending.
I truly doubt Holland would give Howard that money even if thats what he wanted. Holland seems very firm on his belief in a salary cap NHL that spending big bucks on a goalie is not the way to go. If Howard repeats this past season next season, he makes a case for himself as a 4 million or more cap hit goalie, but the most I could see Holland offering is 3, and even then that might be more than he is willing to pay and he probably ends up trading him.

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