Despite being favored to return to the Stanley Cup Finals this season, the Detroit Red Wings have one glaring weakness: Goaltender Chris Osgood. While the Wings were an impressive 26-9-8 with Osgood between the pipes last season, the 15-year veteran's record had a lot more to do with Detroit's offense than his defense.
How about in the 2008-2009 play-offs? Oh that's right, no one wants to mention how Ozzie played his "STFU" style because it goes completely against their "glaring weakness" argument. Always nice to cherry-pick stats to support your own conclusions that are about as deep as a puddle. Let's read on...
Let’s consider the case of Chris Osgood, who has experienced both sides of the love-hate continuum. The Detroit Red Wings went 26-9-8 during the 2008-09 regular season when Osgood was the goalie of record. But Osgood was actually having the worst of his 15 years in the NHL, posting an .887 save percentage and watching his goals-against average balloon from 2.09 to 3.09. The Red Wings bailed him out by leading the league with 295 goals, or 3.60 per game.
Let's consider the fact that you're basing THIS YEAR's ratings by LAST YEAR's stats. Despite a lackluster effort in the opening game of the season, Ozzie has looked sharped and focused. Much like he did in last year's play-offs....oops, I mentioned the post-season again. Apparently, it never happened, and Ozzie played crappy for the ENTIRE LAST SEASON, nope... there was no play-offs, despite what you may have seen on TV.
Martin Gerber, Ottawa/Toronto
Vesa Toskala, Toronto
Peter Budaj, Colorado
Chris Osgood, Detroit
Johan Hedberg, Atlanta
There’s our friend Mr. Osgood again. His performance last year was a giant red flag for handicappers looking at Detroit as the 6-1 favorite to win the Stanley Cup. The Wings chose to save room under the salary cap this offseason by letting No. 2 goalie Ty Conklin sign with the St. Louis Blues as a free agent, even though Conklin was their best goalie last year with a .909 SV% and a 4.0 WAR figure. Osgood’s new backup, young Jimmy Howard, has a .900 SV% in 10 career NHL games and allowed a couple of softies in last week’s 5-3 loss to Conklin and the Blues (+161) in Stockholm.
Obviously, he's not your friend. And yet again there's no mention of Ozzie backstopping the Red Wings to a second straight Stanley Cup Final appearance. The writer goes straight from "last year" (which must end at the conclusion of the regular season) to Stockholm so he can discuss the goaltending's less than favorable performance. So who cares about the play-offs? Who cares that Ozzie just beat Chicago and Washington? He sucks, just ask this guy....named Chance.
Keep your handicap stats, we'll keep our wins.