Kukla's Korner

Goal Line Report

An Appreciation for Chris Osgood

I know that this post may be a bit bias since I’m a goaltender but I wanted to take this time to show my appreciation for Detroit Red Wings’ netminder Chris Osgood.

As I am sure all of you are well aware of, Osgood became the 10th goaltender in National Hockey League history to win 400 games. He did it with a terrific 46-save performance in a 4-3 overtime win over the Wings’ hated rivals, the Colorado Avalanche.

While Osgood may have had the good fortune of playing on extremely talented hockey clubs, winning 400 games is no easy task. Just ask the nine netminders that did it before him.

It takes hard work, patience, many big saves in many big games and skill to accomplish what Osgood did last night in Denver. With that said, Osgood earned his right to be in the top ten when it comes to wins in the NHL by a masked man.

Obviously, many hockey fans will point out that Osgood was lucky to get most of the wins because of the machine-like system that he plays in. They’ll point out that he does not have to face a lot of shots and only has to make a few key stops to earn a victory for the Red Wings.

However, what most forget is that goaltenders are pressured every night to be their best. If they are not, the team will falter.

For example, if Osgood allows four goals but makes a big save when it counts and his team goes on to win 5-4, Osgood did his job to get the victory and in the end, it’s the ‘W that matters.

Regarding Hockey Hall of Fame talk, I believe that Osgood should get inducted. He has two Stanley Cups as the Red Wings’ goalie in the playoffs, has a solid career goals against average, save percentage and shutouts in both the regular season and playoffs and has been in the NHL for about 16 seasons.

Some of you may not like it but Osgood deserves his due and with good reason.

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: chris+osgood, detroit+red+wings



Osgood got the vast majority of his wins playing for Detroit, but for my money his best season was 2001-2002 with the Islanders. Osgood was a key piece of a major retooling (which also involved Mike Peca, Alexei Yashin and Adrian Aucoin arriving in Long Island) that saw the Isles go from dead last in the NHL (52 points) to fifth in the East (96 points). Osgood’s Islanders allowed 48 fewer goals against than the previous squad (which had an aging John Vanbiesbrouck at the helm).

It always bugs me when hockey fans use the “Well, look at how he struggled when he played for other teams!” argument against Ozzie. It simply isn’t true. Granted, the 2002-2003 season (split between NYI and STL) wasn’t the high point of his career, but in 2003-2004 he kept the Blues afloat and in a playoff spot despite the fact that the team lost an astonishing 62 goals of offense (253 versus 191) compared to the year before. He was GREAT that year.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 12/28/10 at 04:03 PM ET

joedaiceman's avatar


Posted by joedaiceman on 12/28/10 at 04:09 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Ozzie frustrates me a lot of the times but he simply wins.  Terrific writeup, Patrick.  And I agree that he is HHOF material.

Posted by SYF from impossible and oddly communally possessive sluts on 12/28/10 at 05:21 PM ET

awould's avatar

Ozzie gets no respect. One one hand, people talk about how easy it is for him playing in Detroit. Then I hear constantly how playing goaltender in Detroit is so tough because you have to stay so focused play behind a very solid team defense and may not see a ton of action in every game.

So Ozzie gets bashed for playing for such a great team and gets no credit for being perhaps the perfect goalie for that team, in a position that everyone admits is a tough gig that few goalies could excel in. Brodeur excelled with a NJ team that was built entirely on defensive excellence and yet he gets all the credit in the world, and deservedly so. But nobody dismisses his greatness even a little bit just because he played behind guys like Stevens, Niedermayer and Rafalski for so many years.

I’m not saying Osgood is as good as Brodeur. He’s not. But Brodeur’s numbers are heavily impacted by the system of the team he’s played for, just like Osgood. But Ozzie is the only goalie who has won a ton of games that people go out of their way to diminish. Bunch of Red Wings haters!

Posted by awould on 12/28/10 at 05:36 PM ET

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About Goal Line Report

Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.

Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.

For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at patrickhoffman3530@gmail.com.