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Osgood Today

Q.      I how much do you relish these opportunities under these circumstances of going into an opponent’s arena when you know they’re going to be all over you from the first drop of the puck?

        CHRIS OSGOOD: It’s fine. I’m not so sure they’re going to be all over us. But our goal is for them not to be. Our goal is for us to kind of take it to them this time. We learn from our mistakes.

        I think the last time we went in there, I don’t think we were physically fatigued in Game 3, just mentally we weren’t as sharp as we usually are. So this time we’re going in fully rested and ready to go. So I expect us to play our best game. I really do.

        Q. How good was it to have the day off? What did you do, and what was it like to get out there and get a spirited little workout in?

        CHRIS OSGOOD: Yesterday just took a huge rest. Watched some TV. Watched the Tigers play. Took a two and a half hour nap. Haven’t gotten a lot. I’m banking some sleep here. I’ve been pretty busy. Just watched the basketball game. Just pretty much rested all day. Today felt a little stiff when I first got out there, obviously. But got loosened up as we went along. So it was good to get the kinks out today and feel sharp for tomorrow.

Q. Just wonder, so much experience, but I wonder what goes through your mind now that you’re closer to Game 6 and one more win?

        CHRIS OSGOOD: You get excited. Because you see the light down the tunnel. It’s such a grind and battle for so long sometimes you don’t think it. But it seems like it’s going to take forever to get there. So when you’re finally here you get excited. The anticipation is, you know, you want to go out and play your best game.

        You don’t want to get too excited. We want to stay on an even keel. We’ve been here before with lots of games like this, so we know how to approach it. It’s obviously a special game when you know you have a chance to win the Cup in one single hockey game.

        Q. Not that you need any extra motivation to win the Cup. But just wondering throughout the course of the year and now especially in the playoffs and in this series, how much of a rallying point was it in the dressing room just to want to get Marian his first Cup?

        CHRIS OSGOOD: We haven’t talked about it much, to be honest. Guys just know. I mean every single year there are different reasons for different guys. And obviously, I think the guys remember last year they were on the ice and how fired up Dally was and we wanted to win for him last year. We never talked about it. But when we lost triple overtime at home I think we were more, the anxiety on his face was unbelievable. You could tell.

        And it was more disappointing for him than anything. So we wanted to go back and win that game for him. I think when we see pictures of him on the ice and his first Cup ever, that’s what it’s all about.

        Q. Dan Cleary was saying yesterday that should you guys win again this year that he hopes that you personally finally get the recognition and the respect that he feels you deserve from the media and the hockey world. Aside from your peers, how important is it to have that recognition?

        CHRIS OSGOOD: It will come one day. I’ve done a heck of a lot to get to this point. Obviously, you want to keep proving yourself, keep improving, getting better every season. I don’t think I have much to prove to the media. I think my stats and my statistics and how I play speaks for themselves.

        I just know how to win games. I like the opportunity of playing in the playoffs, playing in big games. I enjoy it. I love all those things. I look forward to the opportunity to head even to next season and for tomorrow’s game. That will come. I mean guys know what I can do. That’s what means most to me.

        Q. You’re going to have some numbers along with your regular season wins that will put you in the company or better than a lot of Hall of Fame goaltenders and some of your peers as well. Does it cross your mind or embarrass you to be thought of as a potential Hall of Fame goaltender?

        CHRIS OSGOOD: I think it’s awesome. For me it’s an honor to be mentioned. I mean, is he a Hall of Famer, isn’t he? Or other things you get mentioned in. It’s just an honor for me. I don’t look at it as being a negative. Of course I want to be there one day, why wouldn’t I? It’s an awesome thing. Of course I’d like to go to Team Canada’s camp this year and people asked me about this, of course I do. But if it doesn’t happen, it’s not going to change my drive or motivation for next year or the following seasons. I’m going to try to keep getting better.

        Hopefully one day when I’m done playing, whatever my stats are and my wins and whatever else, people will make a decision then.

        Q. Given the amount of experience in the room and the fact that so many guys have been here before, does Babs or anybody else in the room have to say much before the puck drops tomorrow?

        CHRIS OSGOOD: We’ll just approach it like the same as any other game. He’ll get us ready just the same way. Go over meetings, go over what we need to do. Knowing we’ve got to be better with the puck in Pittsburgh. But we will be. We’ll be mentally better than we were than the two games we played there.

        So I’ve said I think we play those back-to-back games, it took a lot out of us. When we went there we weren’t at full capacity. So I expect us to be at this time.

        Q. Considering the way the regular season went for you, have you enjoyed these playoffs even more than the past?

        CHRIS OSGOOD: That’s a good word, past. I don’t look at the past. I look ahead. You guys always talk about the past. To me I look at positives in the past. I take negatives and I use them as positives. That’s why I’m still playing. That’s why I’m still here.  I don’t dwell on things that happened. I don’t beat myself up over something that’s happened during the regular season.

        I use that regular season to make sure next season that doesn’t happen, and I can guarantee it won’t. I don’t look at it, oh my gosh, it’s going to happen again next year. This happened two years ago or in 1995. I don’t think about those things. I think about all the things that I’ve done, and I take things that haven’t worked out so well and I use them to my advantage. I try to use everything to make myself better on the ice.

        Q. With your experience of being under different coaches, what’s Coach Babcock like with veterans, younger kids? Just your overall sense of him behind the bench?

        CHRIS OSGOOD: He’s tough on us when he first got here. I think he tried to come in and be a bit of a tyrant when he came to Traverse City, and he was working pretty good yelling and screaming. I don’t know, is he behind me right now? I better make sure he’s not (laughing).

        But the biggest compliment I can give him is the first time he was here until now he’s gotten better in every single area. Whether it be coaching, being a people person, being able to talk to his players. Knowing what buttons to press at certain times.

        Guys don’t have a problem when Coach gets mad at them or pushes them. That’s his job to make us play better. If you have a problem with that, then you shouldn’t be playing. To me he’s gotten better and better in everything he does, meetings, everything.

        He’s a good coach because he learns from what he’s done wrong before, fixes it, and gets better at things he’s already good at. To me, he’s the best coach in the league right now for sure.

        Q. Do you think Mike will be the Olympic Coach

        CHRIS OSGOOD: If I had 19 in here, I could say. No, I don’t know. He has a good chance though.

        Q. Considering the number of injuries this team has had right from the start of the playoffs, do you feel your role on the team has been more important that you’ve been having to do a little bit more this season?

        CHRIS OSGOOD: It doesn’t matter what team you play for, if it’s a good team or a bad team, you still have to stop the puck when shot your way. When we had the injuries, yeah, I probably saw more quality scoring chances, for sure. But I don’t find it to be any different than last year in the playoffs when I played or any other season. I would have done the same thing.

        If you’ve seen the teams win or play in the playoffs over the course of many years, the goalie never wins by himself, never. And he never loses it by himself. It takes the whole team.

        Do I feel I had to step my game up on certain nights yeah. I felt like when Nick was out, and certain guys, and as a veteran guy and older one of my jobs was to lead the younger guys like Ericsson on defense, and Lebda and these guys who stand up and give some leadership and play well. I made sure I was ready, if anything. So, yeah, I felt a little bit of a bigger role that I had to be a leader more than I ever had before.

        Q. We always talk about your guys’ experience. Does a game like tomorrow night on the road and a possible clinch in Game 6, is that where all that experience rears its head, theoretically?

        CHRIS OSGOOD: I think so. We’ve used it over the course in different instances throughout the playoffs where we’ve really had to rely on it. I think back to Game 3 in Columbus. It was crazy. We stayed pretty calm and stayed within ourselves.

        In Anaheim, we went down 2-1, and stayed pretty focused. Obviously, in Chicago we ran into some injuries so had to rely on it there as well. Game 5 this year is no different, as well as tomorrow night. We’ll approach it with a good mindset. I think we’re going to go there at full capacity mentally and physically and have our best game.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+osgood

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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