Saturday, August 28, 2010

Season preview - goalies

So, seeing as the team is starting to get settled and the spots are filled, I think it's time for me to start the season previews, cause I have nothing better to do. I will in these previews try to summarize the player's last season, the season ahead of him, what the Wings need the player to achieve and what we can expect him to achieve. In the end I will also provide a prognosis of the player's stats for the season. This prognosis is made using a very advanced alogrithm that includes, among other things, previous seasons, team, teammates and a fuckload of gutfeeling. So take it with a grain of salt will ya?

Let's kick it off with the goalies. This is fitting seeing as I know jack shit about goaltending. This will also be the shortest one.

James Howard
Last 3 years (NHL only):
07/08 - Red Wings - 4 GP, 0-2-0, .926 save %, 2.13 GAA, 0 SO
08/09 - Red Wings - 1 GP, 0-1-0, .857 save %, 4.07 GAA, 0 SO
09/10 - Red Wings - 63 GP, 37-15-13, .924 save %, 2.26 GAA, 3 SO

Last season
Jimmah had a stellar season. He came inas a rookie and blew everyone away, taking over the job as the starter. His play saved the Wings and held them in games when they were injury-depleted. Without him the team probably wouldn't have made the playoffs. He recieved a Calder nomination for his efforts, but in a world without an East Coast bias and the retarded notion that he was too old to win it, he would have won it. And to me it is also fairly hard to understand why he didn't get a Hart nomination or at least a lot votes.

The upcoming season
All that is in the past now. Jimmah can take the confidence and good feeling from last season and ride on that, but he can not rest on his laurels. The sophomore slump is a threath and he's gonna work hard, both physically and especially mentally to avoid it. His age and experience will hopefully be there to help him, but still he has to do very well to live up to last season. This is one of the least predictable spots on the team. Will he be great? Average? Poor?

What we need
Last season was a one of a kind season for the Wings. There is no way we will be in such trouble again. There will be injuries, but not that many at the same time. And there is also more depth on the team. This will probably increase the team offense and also make them tighter defensively. Jimmah won't be called on as often to steal the game for the Wings, he will just have to keep them in it and not lose it for them. With fewer shots on him he will have to adapt to Ozzie's strenght, being sharp even in situations where he is cold and see few shots. He will also probably have a sharper backup in Chris Osgood, and Babbles will have the chance to play Ozzie more due to not being fighting for a playoff spot. So Jimmah's workload will hopefully be diminished. So it's fair to say that the Wings will need somewhere between 55 and 60 games from him, with about 38-40 wins or so.

What we will get
I think Jimmah will overcome the jinx and play well and carry his workload. His GAA will probably stay around the same due to better defense, but a more offensive system. His save percentage will be weakened a bit due to the fact that he will see fewer shots. His win total on the other hand will be around the same or a bit higher, but in fewer games, so a higher win percentage.

Prediction
60 GP (58 starts), 40-10-8, 2.31 GAA, .917 save %, 5 SO


Chris Osgood
Last 3 seasons
07/08 - Red Wings - 43 GP, 27-9-8, .914 save %, 2.09 GAA, 4 SO
08/09 - Red Wings - 46 GP, 26-9-19, .887 save %, 3.09 GAA, 2 SO
09/10 - Red Wings - 23 GP, 7-9-5, .888 save %, 3.02 GAA, 1 SO

Last season
Ozzue had a weak 08/09 season. Frankly it was truly fucking terrible. His 09/10 season was better. He had better starts, better play, but had a worse team in front of him. And when he got the flu early on in the season he lost his job as a starter. Every game he played after that, and it wasn't many, came cold and rusty.

The upcoming season
This year Ozzie goes into the season as a backup. He has promised to be better, but we have heard that before. But hopefully he can feel more comfortable in his role and since the Wings won't be in a tight playoff race he will get to play more regularly and keep warm and confident. A sharper team in front of him will help too, allowing Ozzie to be the goalie he is used to being. He's gonna need more focus and less horrible goals than last season, but I think he can do that. Ozzie's got a lot to prove and this season he fight for the right to continue his career after his contract ends next summer.

What we need
Ideally Ozzie would play so well that he good give Jimmah some healthy competition. We don't necessarily need him to be that good though. At least not if Jimmah can hold the level we expect him to be on. Then What we need from Ozzie is that he can play 20-30 games and be a solid backup winning at least half of those games. If Jimmah decides to suck.. well, that is another story.

What we will get
This is hard to say, but I'm gonna guess that Ozzie will bounce back a bit and do a decent job this year. He'll have a few terrible games, a few fantastic ones and be a good backup for Jimmy.

Prediction
25 GP (24 starts), 13-7-4, 2.58 GAA, .906 save %, 1 SO

Yes, I know this predicts a 53-17-12 season, but I am an optimist, I believe in this team. So sue me!

Check in tomorrow (I hope) for the first defense pairing.

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