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Abel to Yzerman

Ramping Up The Rhetoric

Updated:  The hits keep on coming. George Malik disagrees with us too. Well…giddy up.  I got something down below for you too George. 
This is what February does.  Tempers get short.  Stress levels rise.  Red Wing bloggers start duking it out in public.  There’s a good chance Matt Saler would punch me in the face if he had the chance.  And you know what?  I dig that about him.

On The Wings

If you’re looking for an overblown response to the Howard call-up, go here. If you’ve been reading A2Y at all over the past few months, you won’t be surprised. Bill and so many of the “19″ have taken anti-Osgood rhetoric to new and ridiculous heights.

Dammit Matt.  You know as well as anyone that ridiculous heights are what we strive for here.  Read. React. Drink a little.  React some more.  It’s how we roll.

Of course you all realize that I’m just softening Matt up for what’s to follow.  Matt knows it too.  He knows that the funny stuff goes above the “continue reading” clicky thing and then we get down to business.

And here is the business at hand:  We’ve reached these “new and ridiculous heights” because Chris Osgood has taken us by the wrist and dragged us there.  And the most frustrating thing about it is that his demise, and it’s been drastic and obvious, can’t be blamed on anything too significantly physical.  Yes.  We know there’s been a groin thing and, I believe, a wrist thing.

But by all accounts, this disaster of a season for Osgood has been due to some sort of ailment above the shoulders.  And that’s hard for us to handle. We’ve never been easy on mental instability here. You know that Matt.  And that’s what this is. Somehow, of all the Wings, Osgood has let the Cup hangover affect him the most.

So we blast him and we worry.  We worry because we don’t know what to expect of Ty Conklin.  Good god, it’s our worst fear.  Give our Conk a chance only to see it fail when success would mean so much to so many. 

Chris Osgood was an absolute hero last season.  Yes, Hank took home the Conn Smythe, but Osgood saved the season.  There is no disputing that.  And we told Tick Tock to reward him.  When? Last Christmas.  The gift we recommended?

Chris Osgood:  a big, fat three year contract.  Six million bucks for three years and a guarantee that he’ll be starting next year.  Of course the wack job Miracle will string us all along, refusing to retire after the parade, letting us wonder for a week or two, but he eventually will.  Jimmy Howard’s not ready and may never be.  A quarter of the way through the AHL season and he’s not in the top twenty in save percentage or GAA.  Meanwhile, we know where Osgood sits atop the NHL.  He’s 35 and playing the best hockey of his career.  3 years. 6 million. Merry Christmas.

A frigging prophecy is what that was.  And when Holland signed him for three more? He deserved it, but that left a few of us silently wondering if maybe the reward was a bit much.

And dammit if a whole bunch of us weren’t concerned right off the hop that goaltending would be the issue this year. 

Because every one of us knows what Chris Osgood is capable of…the good and the bad.  We’ve defended him in public, but stressed about him here in private.  Because we always knew this was a possibility.

And now? Our starting goaltender is being given a ten-day vacation to clear his head?  Are you kidding me? 

Even if he comes back all crisp and shiny and new?  What kind of confidence will this team have in him, knowing that he needed a sabbatical in order to do the job he’s being paid to do?

Yeah, we’re harsh on Ozzie here.  I know.  And I don’t always feel good about it.  But of all the strong language and over-stressed points of view?  Chris Osgood’s failures this year are the least exaggerated.  And they haven’t gone exactly unnoticed around the league, either.  Andrew’s Stars Page brings us THN’s top 30 goalies.  Guess who’s missing?

Three guys ranked in the top five last year are not on this year’s list: Marty Brodeur, Pascal Leclaire and Chris Osgood. Obviously, Brodeur is hurt. So is Leclaire and he’s seen Mason jump ahead of him on the food chain in Columbus. Osgood has had a rough year and Ty Conklin is Detroit’s guy on the list at No. 18.

He’s earned every bit of what we’ve given him here this year.  Just like he earned the praise last May and June.


Updated at 1426

Uh oh. They’re piling on now. George, while a bit more diplomatic, takes issue with our view on Osgood as well.

As I tend to disagree with The Chief’s assessments of the situation, here’s my take: Howard has to clear waivers to be sent down to Grand Rapids next year, so the Red Wings have to see how he will perform in the NHL sooner than later…And as he has yet to win a game at the NHL level, this is his one opportunity to strut his stuff. It was going to happen, and with three full days off after Saturday’s game in Minnesota, this is the perfect time to give Howard a start.

Oh. Right. Got it.  Osgood lets in 5 goals on 28 shots his last start and the organ-I-zation coincidentally decides to bring Howard up for his “one opportunity.”  C’mon George. 

Man. If I’m the only one who’s willing to say this, so be it:  Chris Osgood has sucked and lost his job. And he’ll be real lucky to get it back.  At this point, he doesn’t deserve it.

That’s why Jimmy Howard is in Detroit right now.  Frankly, Babcock and Holland saw this coming last summer.

Oh, woops.  Did they?

You’re damn right they did.  Because if they hadn’t?  Your favorite Conk would be somewhere else. 


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About Abel to Yzerman

Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com