Posts tagged “Daniel Larsson”

Joey Mac Returns

Update (03. Jul, 9:20 AM): Megan has informed me that it’s either “Joey Mac” or :”Mac D.” Never “Mac.” Sorry. – Matt

The Wings have brought back former Griffins goalie Joey MacDonald to replace that flake Daniel Larsson. Mac will help McCollum develop by providing some needed competition in GR. No taking the starting job for granted, Thomas.

Good move by the Wings on behalf of the farm team.

Bah, Larsson Bolts

This, frankly, sucks. If nothing else, Larsson theoretically provided Thomas McCollum with play-enhancing competition in the AHL, something I’m not convinced Jordan Pearce can do going forward. There was also a chance of Larsson filling in as Jimmy’s backup after next season. The Wings may now be forced to rush McCollum along.

I hope they can find a veteran AHL-level goalie that can mentor the kid.

Larsson may not have had a future with the Wings thanks to Howard and McCollum, but he may have had a future in the NHL. That’s a lot less likely now.

Howard Returned to Grand Rapids

I missed this last night because I had to take the dogs out, but George Malik reports that the FS Detroit crew said Jimmy Howard was returning to Grand Rapids after the game, something Ansar Khan first reported Friday. The AHL transaction wire confirms the move. He’s expected to play this afternoon for the Griffins, relieving Daniel Larsson, who’s played the last two games sick in Howard’s absence.

Expect Larsson to get the call this week, as Chris Osgood’s 10-day hiatus continues. Howard could be brought back, but it wouldn’t make a lot of sense to shuttle him back and forth like that, so it seems to me that a Larsson recall is the next step.

On Howard and Larsson, Redux

I was at the Griffins game for a company holiday party tonight, so I missed the comeback win against the Sabres. I did, however, catch a very confident-looking Daniel Larsson posting his 27-save 6th shutout of the season.

This came the night after Jimmy Howard gave up four goals on 34 shots for a loss against the same team (Philadelphia). Not a terrible average on the face of it, but when you consider the report of my wife, which is that each of the four was bad, the picture changes. Evidently, one of them involved that nightmare-creating scenario of a goalie coming out to play the puck at the blueline, only to get beaten to it and scored on before he can get back to the net. Not a high-point in young Mr. Howard’s career. 

You can’t take one game samples of Howard and Larsson and predict their futures with certainty, but at this point in time, one thing’s for sure: one’s stock is falling and the other’s is rising. And it’s not who you would have picked at the start of the season.

On Larsson and Howard

Matthew Wuest of Red Wings Central has an update on goaltending prospect Daniel Larsson.

Wuest notes that Larsson has had a strong North American start, an observation that jives with what I hear  from my wife, a Griffins season ticket holder. Larsson has outplayed Jimmy Howard by a fair margin most of the season and may have the Wings rethinking their future goaltending plans.

Howard has picked up his play lately, but if he doesn’t finish the AHL season on a very strong streak, he may be out as the future Detroit netminder. With Thomas McCollum coming up in the system and Larsson already performing like a top-5 AHL goaltender, Howard’s relatively slow development may come back to bite him.

I saw Jimmy play New Year’s Eve, when he posted a shutout against a relatively anaenmic Iowa Chops team. He looked pretty solid, but I’m still not wholly convinced he’s NHL ready or able to be so by next season. His recent strong play has seemingly been brought on by the competition Larsson has provided and I find  it a little disturbing that it’s taken an upstart backup to motivate the man.

I’d mark it down to Quincey-esque disappointment at being in the AHL once again, but this has been a continuing theme with Howard since he left college. He has yet to reach the required dominance in the minors after two full seasons and over half of a third. Any disapointment over being the third man in the systerm should provide motivation, not send him to a spiral of average goaltending. 

Larsson has looked like a capable goalie in just his first season outside Sweden, something all the more impressive when you consider the difference between North American rinks and European. That demonstrates a definite level of mental toughness, and from where I sit, it’s difficult not to give Larsson the advantage over Howard in that particular category right now.