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Subtle retaliation? Pleiness’s seven reasons why Chris Osgoods’s a Hall-of-Famer

Let’s just say that it’s entirely possible that the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness surveyed the interweb and felt it necessary to offer both teammate/general manager testimonials and seven very specific reasons why Pleiness believes that Red Wings goaltender Chris Osgood is a very legitimate Hockey Hall of Fame candidate:

1. There are 32 players currently enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame who played exclusively as a goaltender in the NHL or its fore-runners (PCHL or NHA). Only seven of those 32 (Patrick Roy, Terry Sawchuk, Jacques Plante, Tony Esposito, Glenn Hall, Ed Belfour and Grant Fuhr) have won more games than Osgood.

2. Osgood currently has 50 regular-season shutouts to his credit. Only 15 of those HOF goalies have more.

3. Osgood had just one regular season in which he finished with a record below .500. That was 2009-10, when he posted a 7-9-4 record. Of those goalies in the HOF, only three can make that claim (Ken Dryden, Bill Durnan and Roy).

4. Osgood has been on three Stanley Cup winning teams. Twenty of the goalies in the HOF have been on less.

5. In the playoffs, Osgood has won 74 games. Only five HOF netminders have won more (Roy, Fuhr, Billy Smith, Dryden and Belfour).

6. Osgood has recorded 15 postseason shutouts. Only Roy (23) has more among goalies in the HOF.

7. Of the 10 netminders who reached the 400-win plateau, only Martin Brodeur did it quicker (720 games, compared to Osgood’s 742).

Continued, and for the record, the Saginaw News’s Kyle Austin reports that Darren McCarty’s golf game is…best-suited to charitable tournaments…

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J.J. from Kansas's avatar

JJ, it’s looking doubtful at this point in his career that he is going to get those NHL games in also. :p

Posted by Steve Strowbridge from St. John’s, NL, CA on 07/24/11 at 11:08 AM ET

Hahaha. I bet he’d look like my avatar standing on skates.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/24/11 at 02:33 PM ET


Simple argument against Osgood? He wasn’t one of the best at his position very often during his career. He compiled stats without being an exceptional contributor to many great Red Wings teams. Take a look at Vezina voting—which should not be taken as gospel, but it backs up what a lot of people would say just watching Osgood over the course of his career.

Through 2008, and I’m hoping he hasn’t gotten votes since then, here is his Vezina history

94-95: 5 (0-1-2)
95-96: 46 (5-6-3)
97-98: 3 (0-1-0)
07-08: 1 (0-0-1)

Compare that to
93-94: 10 (1-1-2)
94-95: 3 (0-1-0)
96-97: 2 (0-0-2)
98-99: 64 (10-4-2)
99-00: 23 (2-3-4)
00-01: 4 (0-1-1)
01-02: 1 (0-0-1)

97-98: 5 (0-0-5)
99-00: 110 (14-13-1)
02-03: 1 (0-0-0-0-1) ?

Byron Dafoe
97-98: 1 0-0-1
98-99: 58 8-4-6
01-02: 1 (0-0-1)

93-94: 9 (1-1-1)
94-95: 1 0-0-1
98-99: 1 0-0-1
00-01: 2 0-0-2

85-86: 60 (9-3-6)
86-87: 6 (1-0-1)
87-88: 12 (1-2-1)
88-89: 6 (1-0-1)
91-92: 7 (0-1-4)
93-94: 64 (6-10-4)
94-95: 11 (1-1-3)
95-96: 11 (2-0-1)
96-97: 1 (0-0-1)

83-84: 42 (4-6-4)
84-85: 58 (7-6-5)
85-86: 1
87-88: 22 2-3-3
88-89: 3 0-1-0
92-93: 70 7-10-5
97-98: 26 0-7-5

79-80: 6th in Hart voting
80-81: 2nd in Hart
81-82: received a couple all-star votes
83-84: 1 0-0-1
85-86: 4 0-1-1
86-87: 60 7-8-1
87-88: 2 0-0-2
89-90: 4 0-1-1

89-90: 1 0-0-1
90-91: 12 1-1-4
91-92: 1 0-0-1
93-94: 8 0-1-5
96-97: 2 0-0-2

86-87: 1
87-88: 14 0-4-2
88-89: 54 5-9-2
90-91: 1 0-0-1
94-95: 21 3-1-3
97-98: 1

1984-85   4   0   1   1   7  
1985-86   3   0   1   0   8  
1986-87   4   0   1   1   8  
1989-90   26   2   2   10   3  
1990-91   7   0   1   4   5  
1992-93   5   0   1   2   5  
1996-97   1   0   0   1   7  

Ozzie was once a postseason all-star.

Should Osgood get credit for his very solid, winning playoff performances and longevity? Absolutely. He backstopped two Cup winners, and scores big points for that. They weren’t Smythe worthy but he did what was needed to help his team win.

If you really value longevity, and the HOF bar is set on the lower side, Osgood gets in. If you consider the Hall a place for greatness, I don’t think he belongs. I don’t look at him as being an exceptional player.

(And please, don’t say he won 3 cups. He played 47 minutes in 96-97.)

Posted by ExO on 07/24/11 at 02:40 PM ET


Statistics are a good place to start with HHoF consideration ... but in the end there has to be more. There has to be clear moments in career that a fan can look back to and say “there is the reason”.  Osgoode lacks those and so his detractors, who will point to an average goalie playing on above average teams, will never be satisfied. They won’t make too much trouble if he does get in, but who is going to nominate him over all the other deserving players not already nominated?

Posted by SDL from Toronto on 07/24/11 at 03:38 PM ET

awould's avatar

Posted by SDL from Toronto on 07/24/11 at 01:38 PM ET

As a fan, i will point to Osgood’s last Cup win. Contrary to what most of his detractors seem to believe, he was the favorite to start the playoffs by most Wings fans and other people not named Babcock, so when he came in and dug Detroit out of its hole, it was not a surprise to most Wings fans. Clearly the team played with more confidence with him in the net, which just highlights the fact that he was an important part of all those great teams that every detractor thinks deserves credit for Osgood’s wins.  He had a fantastic run to win that Cup. Over his career, he may have let in more crappy blue line flubbers than most goalies, but he also has more Cups than them and more wins than all but 9.

Posted by awould on 07/24/11 at 03:57 PM ET


I think with Osgood the criteria should be this: if you saw his career stats without knowing it was Osgood, how could you not put him in the Hall. He has 3 Cups. He has more wins than every goalie but 9 in NHL history. Those two stats alone should be enough for any goalie, even Osgood.

You have to look at the full stats though, including game played compared to others in his era. Look at the other goalies of his era that have gotten in, or will get consideration and compare.

Ed Belfour- 963 gp
Roy- 1029
Brodeur- 1132
Curtis Joseph- 943

Hasek played in around the same number of games as Osgood, but he got a late start to his NHL career coming over from the Czech Republic. Mike Richter played less that Osgood, but he had his career cut short because of injuries and played in 4 less seasons that Osgood. He averaged more games than Osgood.

You look at Osgood’s career and the reason he doesn’t have the number of games of comparable peers is simply because of play. He split time with another goalie too often. Given that he doesn’t have the resume to offset the comparatively fewer games played.

Osgood probably ended up 100 games played (and whatever number of wins he would have gotten in that time) short of being a hall of famer.

Posted by jkrdevil on 07/24/11 at 04:44 PM ET

monkey's avatar

Have you made more money than all but nine?

It took me a bit to get this, but once I did- HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA


Touché.  I have not forgotten Fedorov.

Posted by monkey from Prague on 07/24/11 at 05:53 PM ET

awould's avatar

Osgood probably ended up 100 games played (and whatever number of wins he would have gotten in that time) short of being a hall of famer

And yet with so few games played he is #10 all time in wins. I don’t follow this logic at all.

One other thing that makes him a standout is he is the only goalie to win a Cup before and after the lockout. He was able to adapt his game and change his style and still win the big prize. That is not common.

2 Cups as the starter, 10th in wins all time, 1.55GAA and 3 SHO in his last Cup playoffs, longevity. Pretty impressive for such a mediocre player.

Posted by awould on 07/24/11 at 08:07 PM ET


And yet with so few games played he is #10 all time in wins. I don’t follow this logic at all.

One other thing that makes him a standout is he is the only goalie to win a Cup before and after the lockout. He was able to adapt his game and change his style and still win the big prize. That is not common.

Well now we get back to the team in front of him, especially since other goaltenders in Detroit during that era had a higher winning percentage than Osgood. Ask yourself if Chris Osgood’s play was Hall of Fame why didn’t Scotty Bowman, one of the best coaches ever, not play him more? Why in 2001 did Ken Holland not only didn’t keep him, but also couldn’t find a trade partner for Osgood and had to place him on waivers and get nothing for him.

He only played 60 or more games in a season 5 times in his 17 year career. Meaning given the era he spent most of his career in a platoon goalie situation. If can’t even be the clear cut starter on his own team for most of his career how can he be a Hall of Famer.

As for winning the cup -pre and -post lockout that means nothing to me. The game didn’t change that much -pre and -post lockout. If look at the timing of the lockout and the goalies who won the 6 cups prior only Brodeur and Khabibulin played significantly past the lockout. Belfour was at the end of career and played two seasons past the lockout. Hasek, who had retired once prior lockout but came back, was at the end of his career and played 3 years past (the last splitting equal time with Osgood). Roy retired before the lockout. So not much opportunity for guys to win before and after.

Posted by jkrdevil on 07/24/11 at 11:40 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Touché.  I have not forgotten Fedorov.

Posted by monkey from bat country on 07/24/11 at 03:53 PM ET

Then my work here is done.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/25/11 at 12:30 AM ET

AndrewFromAnnArbor's avatar

I would argue for Fleury if the Penguins are able to win another Cup or two.

Every time I see Marc-Andre Fleury, I think, “Man, that guy reminds me of Chris Osgood.”

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 07/25/11 at 09:49 AM ET

awould's avatar

Posted by jkrdevil on 07/24/11 at 09:40 PM ET

This is sort of my point, when you have to parse out the stats to prove a guy doesn’t belong, it goes too far. You bring up multiple points that could be argued in circles ad nauseum.  I’m not saying they’re bad points, all of them, but they’re not so clear cut as you make them out to be. Osgood very quietly amassed a great hockey resume in the face of constant criticism over his entire career. Now when all his detractors see the stats laid bare, it’s time to run back and regurgitate all of the same BS that’s been used to marginalize him before.

I suspect there are HOF voters who dissect every stat and each year of his career and there are others who look at the accomplishments themselves. This argument against him is starting to sound like a losing team’s fans who argue why they should’ve won and why they’re still a better team and meanwhile the game is over and the scoreboard says it all.

His accomplishments stand on their own and to me, 2 Cups and #10 all time wins is good enough for the Hall of Fame.

Posted by awould on 07/25/11 at 01:38 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.