The Detroit Red Wings Put Their Faith in Chris Osgood
Chris Osgood will the be the first person to say that he did not have the best regular season and anyone that says it was good is either delusional or crazy, maybe both.
Just looking at the stats will show you how ugly it really was. Osgood's .887 save percentage was the third worst among all net minders who played at least 30 games and his 3.09 GAA was a full goal higher then last years 2.09.
Fortunately for the Wings, they were the one team who could afford to have such terrible goaltending as they still managed to place second place in the Western Conference.
What made this even more disappointing is this dreadful season came after Osgood signed a three-year extension worth $1,417,000 in the middle of his awesome season last year.
Many believed Osgood to be done. A lot of people said that he was officially at his end, to old and tired after last year's Stanley Cup Championship to keep playing at an acceptable level. The Wings even sent him home for ten days to collect his thoughts.
After coming back from his break, Osgood played very well for awhile but ended up giving up the soft goals he was prone to during the first half of the regular season.
This was not good. It lead to many people questioning whether the Wings should turn to Ty Conklin for the latest Cup run, even me. How wrong were we? We definitely should have known better then to just kick Osgood to the curb, especially after all he has been through in his career.
Osgood, for one, never doubted himself: "Everybody says Kenny is one of the best GMs in the league," said Osgood. "Well, there's a reason why he brought me back." That reason? It's because Holland knows that Osgood has a thicker skin then any other goalie currently playing in the NHL.
Who rebounds better after giving up a bad goal then Osgood? A good example is in 1998 when he gave up a center ice goal to the Dallas Stars Jamie Langenbrunner. Osgood played his best game of the playoffs the next game and Detroit went on to win their second straight Stanley Cup Championship.
A more recent example is Game One of the Western Conference Finals. The Hawks managed to score the first goal of the game when Osgood went for a poke check that he probably should'nt have. He proceeded to make 30 stops in a huge 5-2 win.
All in all, Osgood is now 10-3 these playoffs with a spectacular .925 save percentage and 2.32 GAA. Not only that, but he has made me a believer for the rest of his career. In Ozzy we trust!
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