There’s always that time of the year — right about when pitchers and catchers report to MLB camps — when the NHL begins that final push to the home stretch.
This season is no different, as is the controversy stirring around who will lead the Wings toward the promise land in 2009.
Last season, Dominik Hasek found his way to the bench as Detroit picked up steam on its way to the Cup. This season, the only question seems to be whether Chris Osgood can have that magic again.
Whether we wish to recognize it or not, Osgood has a résumé that other goalies absolutely drool over. His 381 wins place him 12th all-time. Coincidentally, fellow Red Wings Mike Vernon and Dominik Hasek keep him out of the top ten. His 13 postseason shutouts are top ten all-time, and while his 3.29 GAA this season is nowhere near stellar, his playoff GAA of 2.43 is one of the best ever. Ozzie was also a member of three Stanley Cup winning teams, and was the starting goalie for two of them a full decade apart.
Whether we wish to recognize it or not, Ozzie has been an extremely talented goalie often put in awkward or unpleasant situations. While this may be normal for a goaltender in the NHL, the Wings undoubtedly have one of the best. Osgood is the rightful heir to the playoff car keys this season.
It used to be said that the toughest jobs in Detroit were Red Wings starting goalie and Lions starting quarterback. Osgood has proven his toughness at the first post for quite some time now as he continues to play his way into the Red Wings history books — and into the hockey Hall of Fame. Too bad he can’t throw a football.