People in Boston are used to Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas being treated as the Rodney Dangerfield of netminding. But in the grand scheme of things, Detroit’s Chris Osgood is probably the least-respected puck-stopper around.
Last night, Osgood — a multi-time Stanley Cup winner — was at his absolute best in his 100th playoff appearance for Detroit. With Osgood almost impenetrable, the defending Cup champs were able to squeak out a 3-2 overtime win to take a 2-0 lead on Chicago in the Western Conference finals.
With 37 saves from Osgood, and a game-winning goal off the stick of Mikael Samuelsson, Detroit continued to operate like a victory-cranking machine. Sometimes it seems like the Wings get to every loose pucks, make every defensive play and take advantage of every single mistake their opponents make. It doesen’t matter which line or D pair is on the ice, they always get it done. And, of course, Osgood always comes up big on the grandest stage. At his current rate, Osgood is going to be disrespected all the way to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto while he dusts off his Cup rings.
Chicago is hoping some home-ice advantage will help get this series back on even terms. And by matching Detroit shot for shot and getting improved games from both Patrick Kane (three shots) and Jonathan Toews (two goals) in Game 2, there is some expectation that things will get better for the ‘Hawks.
So it’ll be the team that’s chanting ‘no place like home’ against the goaltender affectionately knowns as ‘Oz’ in Friday’s Game 3. Right now it looks like the young ‘Hawks might become road kill on that yellow brick road.