Red Wings Have Their Starting Goalie in Husso Says THW Panel

The Hockey Writers

In a recent episode of The Hockey Writers Grind Line, writers Devin Little, Matthew Zator, and Tony Wolak dove into a discussion of new Red Wings starting goalie Ville Husso. Last season was his first with the Red Wing as well as his first as an NHL starter.

The question that generated the discussion was what fans should expect from Husso for the upcoming 2023-24 NHL season. 

Husso’s Journey as a Primary Goalie Began Last Season

As the group noted, Husso’s journey as a primary goalie at the NHL level began only last season. What makes this season particularly intriguing is that last season Husso logged a ton more minutes than he’s ever played before. According to the panel, his 3,220 minutes of ice time was almost one-third more (32 percent) than any other season he’s had during his professional or junior career. 

The weight and responsibility of this workload should not be understated.

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During his exit interviews and media sessions, Husso himself acknowledged how demanding the season was being a number one goalie. He hinted at his surprise. Perhaps he also felt that he wasn’t quite ready because he expressed his commitment to improving his physical condition. 

One thing Husso learned was that carrying such heavy minutes required endurance.

Husso Will Be the Bona Fide Starter This Season

For Husso, it’s too pivotal a role to expect less. However, now that the Red Wings have signed NHL veteran James Reimer, the panel noted that it’s clear there’s no longer a tandem situation. Husso is unquestionably the primary netminder.

This upcoming season should be a litmus test for Husso. It makes sense that his first season as the starter turned into a learning experience. However, he’ll be working to use his second season to apply the knowledge he’s gained. 

In short, Husso’s preparing himself to have a stronger performance. The panel believes that he will continue to improve over the course of the entire season. He’s their starter.

While the Jury Remains Out, the Red Wings Panel Believes Husso’s Up to the Task

While the jury remains out on Husso’s ability to maintain his energy and consistency over a long season, the group believes he’ll succeed. In fact, they believe his statistics will begin to trend upward. They predict that Husso’s save percentage is likely to climb above the .900 mark. It was .896 when last season ended.

The Bottom Line 

The consensus among the TWW panel is that the 2023-24 season will see Husso become a more seasoned and confident number-one goalie. If that happens, the Red Wings will benefit from his commitment to enter the season more prepared, both mentally and physically.

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The rigors and expectations of his starting role demand it. And, Husso is more ready than ever to accept the challenge.

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