Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 5/3/13
For the Red Wings to advance in these Stanley Cup playoffs, goalie Jimmy Howard must be better. Especially now that rookie defenseman Danny DeKeyser is out for the year with a broken thumb. Since his arrival late in the regular season, DeKeyser has stabilized the defense, and his loss will be difficult for the Wings to overcome, unless Howard elevates his game. Leading 4-1 nearly midway through in the third period Thursday, it appeared the Red Wings were in complete control and about to even up their first-round playoff series with the Ducks at a game apiece. Until Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf muscled his way from behind the Wings net and backhanded a shot that somehow eluded Howard. Once Getzlaf scored, the Wings looked timid and the Ducks re-energized. As his young team wilted in front of him, Howard needed to morph into a stone wall. This was the kind of moment when playoff legends are born ... when your last line defense must make each and every save. This was Howards time. Unfortunately for the Wings, Anaheim scored another goal -- on a shot by Kyle Palmieri that was slightly tipped by Teemu Selanne -- to cut the Wings' lead to one. Eventually the Ducks tied the score on a Bobby Ryan goal with under 3 minutes to play. An epic collapse -- a three-goal lead blown and two questionable goals allowed by Howard -- followed by a season-saving, power-play goal by Gustav Nyquist in overtime that gave the Wings a 5-4 victory. In all fairness, Howard did make some big saves early in the game to keep the Wings from falling behind, but isnt that what hes supposed to do? Unlike past Red Wings playoff teams, this one relys on an abundance of inexperienced rookies at virtually every position, which has led to inconsistent play. Howard is not a raw rookie; he's a seasoned playoff veteran, and his playoff performance this year has been uneven as his 2.99 goals-against average and .897 save percentage indicate. With the 1-1 series moving back to Detroit, Howards goaltending must become the Wings' main asset. A goalie is ultimately judged not by the quantity and quality of his saves, but when he makes them. Its about whether he can make the big stop when everything is on the line. At this point, Howards career playoff accomplishments haven't been memorable. He must rectified this soon, before he's categorized as a postseason disappointment. Which wouldn't be so good for a goalie -- or his team -- who just signed a six-year, 31.8 million contract extension.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jamaal Charles could be on the roster bubble

Jimmy Butler on state of Bulls: ‘I just want to win at all costs’

Report: Giants will be ‘aggressive’ in trying to sign Jason Pierre-Paul

Report: Porzingis avoided ligament damage in ankle

Brooks Koepka meltdown includes whiff, stomping head off driver

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: 49ers could talk trade for QB at the NFL Scouting Combine

Hawks suspend Dennis Schroder for one game

Mike Pereira: Chips in footballs wouldn’t improve spotting

Tony Romo takes great shot at Jimmy Kimmel ahead of Oscars

Report: Pelicans sign veteran G Jarrett Jack

Carmelo Anthony does not understand direction of Knicks

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher who has recorded 10 or more shutouts in a single season

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker