When it comes to the pressure of the NHL Playoffs and the Stanley Cup Finals, you need a solid goaltender in net—one that can come through in pressure situations to make that big save.
Chris Osgood has all those aspects and is that type of goalie.
Every year, I hear that Osgood is no good. Are those people not watching the games? Osgood is probably one of the best goalies in Stanley Cup Playoffs history. He's 15-10 all-time in the finals, only behind former Colorado Avalanche goalie Patrick Roy, who is 14-8.
Osgood doesn’t bend under pressure in the finals either. He’s 10-3 all-time in the Stanley Cup Finals, which includes three Stanley Cups and a possible fourth this season.
Some people say that he struggles during the regular season. At times, he did. Osgoodpossessed a 3.09 goals against average, which was 41st in the league and at one point was backing up Ty Conkilin. In 2008, he was backing up Dominik Hasek to start the season while at on occasion splitting time with Jimmy Howard.
But no matter how good or bad Osgood is in the regular season, he always turns it up in the playoffs. He’s one of those players who thrives under pressure. He's the man between the pipes for coach Mike Babcock and has been the best goalie in the current playoffs.
The Osgood of the 2009 playoffs looks nothing like the Osgood in the regular season. People were worried about Osgood at the end of the regular season. But once again, he came alive in the postseason.
In 2009's playoffs, Osgood has a 2.00 goals against average, which is second only to Boston's Tim Thomas. He also has a 92.7 percent save percentage and carries 14 wins, which is the most of any goalie in the 2009 playoffs.
It's not just the last two seasons that he's been doing so well in the playoffs. In 1998, Osgood was 16-6 with a 2.35 goals against average while the Wings won the Stanley Cup.
Osgood has a 2.11 goals average for his career in 106 playoff games. That's better than Roy (2.30), Grant Fuhr (2.90), Jacques Plante (2.16), Tony Esposito (3.07), and Glenn Hall (2.78)—all Hall of Fame goalies.
Osgood only trails New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur, who has a 1.98 goals against average in the playoffs. Brodeur also owns three Stanley Cups.
Osgood may pass him this season.
When you're talking about who the best goalies in the playoffs are, Brodeur and Roy come to mind. But you may want to include Osgood on that list, or maybe even at the top.