Goalies on the Hot Seat: Red Wings

Updated: November 18, 2009 at 1:06 am by Kevin Dupuis

Continuing a feature we’re going to look at frequently this year, which goalies are getting the majority of starts and who’s job is in jeopardy? Green means the goalie’s job appears safe, yellow would mean they are yielding more starts to their competitor than normal, red means the starting job appears to be more dependent on performance or a rotation.

Osgood-Howard

Here’s what we know:

Chris Osgood 6-3-2 in 12 starts, 2.77 GAA, .902 SV%, 1 SO, 90% owned

Jimmy Howard 4-2-1 in 6 starts, 2.85 GAA, .898 SV%, 12% owned

Judging just from the numbers above it doesn’t seem like Chris Osgood’s starting job is in jeopardy. Sure Osgood is still the Red Wings’ number one goalie and Mike Babcock and Ken Holland will say that all season long because he will be their guy in the playoffs. However,  the team is winning of late with Howard in net and if that keeps up he will definitely see more starts come his way.  Howard has gone 3-0 with a 2.00 GAA and a .926 save percentage in 3 straight starts with Osgood sidelined battling the flu. Osgood practiced on Tuesday, but likely won’t dress again Wednesday against Dallas meaning Howard will make his 4th consecutive start and Daniel Larsson will backup. Babcock does plan on starting Osgood on Friday against Florida if he’s ready to go, but said he will go back to Howard on Saturday night at Montreal because he is simply playing well. That’s a pretty strong statement and it means Osgood better be sharp on Friday night. But of course Howard, being the inexperienced NHL goaltender that he is, could have an awful game on Wednesday or Saturday and we could be back to square one.  In all honesty Howard hasn’t been great, he’s looked completely lost on a couple of goals (notably 2 against Anaheim) but the team is winning and that’s what matters.

If you need a goalie to get you through a rough patch, Howard is showing he can provide you with a legitimate option and now is the best time to grab him.  With the way the Wings are playing you should at least see more wins from Howard than you can get from most backups around the league, but don’t go dropping Osgood or any other starter to pick up Howard.

Pressure’s on Ozzie, but I think he can handle it.

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