Don’t blame Conklin for Conklin being Conklin

Who’s to blame for the hole Conklin can’t seem to dig himself out of? Confidence? Babs? Kenny? Conklin? The team? Question marks?

Maybe the real answer isn’t so simple.  Click the jump to continue.

I for one believe that it’s a combination of all of the above. I don’t have any concrete evidence to show my logic other than the team allowing about 4 more shots per game when Conks is in net. I’m sure there are more stats like that to prove my point, but I’m just too worn out after the extended holiday break, that included carting around a teething 5-month old and his 18 bags of clothes, toys, bottles, bouncers and what-nots to 13 different holiday gatherings, all while looking for a house to buy so my family and I don’t end up homeless when we move back to Michigan in 35 days.

So for now I will go from the gut and say that Conklin hasn’t played all that bad outside of the 7 goal trouncing that the Capitals handed us earlier in the year. He hasn’t been particularly spectacular either, but when you play once every 15 games it’s probably hard to get a grove going.

To me it seems that the team has lost all confidence in Conks. They play scared, they hesitate to make the plays they seem so comfortable making with Jimmy in net. It’s almost as if they start the game with the play from behind mindset that can create even more mistakes.

Detroit doesn’t and hasn’t played that style of hockey in years, even when down 2-0 as we saw last night. They have always stayed calm and collected while working their way back into the game.

I don’t know how much more I can handle. I know that any game can be won with Jimmy in net. I felt the same way with Osgood, Hasek, and Vernon, but to sit on the edge of my seat and cringe everytime the opposing team breaks into our zone is just not the kind of hockey I want to watch.

Scoring slumps can be broken, losing streaks snapped, but when the psychological aspects of a goalies game are affected, the damage may be too much for him to recover the season.

What needs to happen? Do we ride Howard for 70 games? Do we make a trade and hope for the best? Or should we just ride it out and hope Conklin can turn it all around in short order? It seems to me that the backup goalie is our weakest link, and this may be Lidstrom’s swan song. So why would Kenny not jump at every opportunity to help better the team?

The only explanations I can fathom are that nothing worthwhile is available or there are bigger plans in the works.

Maybe I’m just paranoid.

What do you think?