WWYDW: How would you handle the goaltending situation in the playoffs?

Who’s the Wings number one goalie? No but seriously, who is it? On today’s What Would you Do Wednesday, we look at the Wings tandem and ask you about your opinions.

Long gone are the days of Hasek and Osgood, but the Wings face an age old question- is the right guy in net?

Jimmy Howard is the confirmed starter for Game 1 tonight against the Lightning, but the decision might be a pretty surprising move to some.

Howard played 37 games this season to Petr Mrazek’s 54, and his .906 save percentage falls behind Mrazek’s .921. Howard might have more playoff experience, but I think we’ve seen enough relatively inexperienced goalies do well in the playoffs by now to know that’s pretty archaic thinking. Plus, Mrazek took the nod seven times in last year’s playoffs after winning the net in the latter part of last season.

Howard has had a more accomplished NHL career, but clearly Mrazek’s been better statistically over the past two years. So what do you do?

Of all the tough coaching decisions to make, picking a goaltender on a nightly basis might be the toughest one. The weight of this choice increases ten-fold come playoff time when a good or bad performance from your goalie can make or break your season. 

If you were in charge of picking who was in net for the Wings for each game this series, how would you handle it?

Does one bad game chase Howard from the net? Does two? Would you consider using them as a tandem? Does a win or a loss change your decision? Is there a set total of goals that you’d consider too many? Would pulling a goalie from a specific game change the next game’s starter?

On the flip side, how many good games would you want from Howard before committing to him for the rest of the way? 

Leave your answers in the comments below. Most thumbs up gets an internet high-five.

  • Starting Howard in game one gives a veteran the chance to elevate his game enough through what’s looking like it may be a tough postseason for the Red Wings, but if I’m Detroit, I give him one shot and that’s it. As soon as Howard underperforms, the team needs to switch to Mrazek – and keep him in net for as long as possible.

    All the stats indicate that Mrazek is more likely to perform well – so while you want to give Howard a chance to help his team in the postseason as a veteran piece of the lineup, the younger option is what you need to go with as soon as the Howard experiment looks like it’s going to fail.

    • I agree with Cat wholeheartedly. While you want Howard to find his game, you can’t just play him due to nostalgic purposes. Mrazek, faltered down the stretch but he is the future of this team. When exactly are the Wings going to let go of the past?

  • What they said ^^^

    I completely agree with going to Howard in Game 1, absolutely the right call. However, the leash is short but Mrazek may not be the answer either. His game has slipped drastically, so I hope Howard can lock it down. This is the playoffs, it’s all about goaltending and he’s shown in the past that he is capable of stealing a series.