Ville Husso’s recent blunder spoiled his best performance of the season in the Detroit Red Wings home loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night. Still, signs suggest he’s finally playing himself out of his lengthy slump that stems back to last season.
It’s been a rough season to date for Detroit’s appointed No. 1 goaltender, and that is putting it mildly. Ville Husso has posted a 9-5-2 record boasted, sarcasm of course, by a .891 save percentage and 3.58 goals against average. During Detroit’s 6-4 victory over the Blues in St. Louis, Husso showed signs suggesting that he was finally finding his game. Husso was peppered in that Blues contest, particularly in the third frame. The Blues fired just nine shots Husso’s way, but he was forced to make a few quality saves, which helped aid a Detroit three-goal third period to solidify a much-needed victory. Detroit was outshot in the game 37-32 in the game.
Far too often, Husso is digging the puck out of the back of his net, but finally, that wasn’t the case on Thursday against Carolina. However, an embarrassing misplay of the puck ended up costing the Red Wings the game, overshadowing Husso’s 37-save performance.
As you can see in the video above, the go-ahead game-winning goal occurred midway through the second period. Unlike the game before against the Blues, the Red Wings failed to muster any additional offense.
Is Ville Husso finally breaking out of a season-long (plus) slump?
Head coach Derek Lalonde spoke about how the Red Wings seem to allow a bad goal or two every game and called that one a ‘doozy.’ Lalonde was quick to mention that Husso recovered well following the awful goal and mentioned he was confident that a third goal wasn’t going in, and he was quick to say that he hadn’t felt that way in quite some time.
"“It seems like every game there’s a bad goal or two goals,” Lalonde said. “Obviously, tonight was a doozy. It was a pretty good one.”“He looked so within his game I knew a third one wasn’t going in,” Lalonde said. “And I haven’t had that feeling in a while.”"
It’s no secret, in recent weeks, I’ve been very critical of the Detroit Red Wings goaltending play, well, or lack thereof. Husso has allowed three or more goals in 13 of his 16 appearances this season. In addition to that, he’s also allowed four or more in eight of his 16 games and five or more three times.
I feel Alex Lyon is currently giving Detroit their best opportunity to win. Lyon has been upgraded from the No. 3 netminder to the clear backup of late, but he’s played well enough to unseat Husso for the bulk of the workload; Lalonde seems to be resisting that urge and continues to use Husso on a 2:1 ratio regardless of who is getting the backup work. Lyon will get the nod in Philly on Saturday night, so we will see how that shakes out.
Lyon takes a 4-2-0 record into Saturday night behind a 2.13 goals against average and a .931 save percentage. Detroit should still be exhausting all of their options in goal, perhaps even making a trade for a bona fide starter if they are serious about making a playoff push this season.