Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 12/05/13 at 10:47 AM ET
Yes, the Detroit Red Wings were without Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg their top two scorers on Wednesday night against Philadelphia, but the outcome, a shocking 6-3 loss that saw the Red Wings cough up 3-1 lead allowing four third-period goals, highlighted what is a burgeoning problem for head coach Mike Babcock: his goaltending. Specifically, Babcock is faced with the reality that what is supposed to be his best goaltender is not his best goaltender. Jimmy Howard took the loss Wednesday allowing five goals on 33 shots. Yes, the four third-period goals the Flyers registered included two power-play markers and an empty-net goal, but the fact is that Howard has just one win in his last eight appearances and six times over that stretch has allowed three or more goals. Jonas Gustavsson, meanwhile, has won four in a row for the Wings and is a sparkling 7-0-1 on the season. Maybe it's just a bump in the road for Howard but right now he's in danger of playing himself out of contention for the U.S. Olympic team and out of the starter's role in Detroit.
-Scoot Burnside of ESN where you can read more opinions from the hockey experts at ESPN.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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