It's time. Time for Redwings fans and haters alike, all around the world, to find a new whipping boy. Chris Osgood just doesn't qualify any more. (Not that he ever should have in the first place.) It's a rap that I never understood. Why, for over a decade, has Osgood been classified as a 2nd-rate goalie, the weak link on a Detroit powerhouse. He's easily the most underrated, underpaid, over-criticized player of the past 20 years. With yet another trip to the Cup finals on his resume, even the most cynical Osgood basher has to wake up and find a new target.
Consider the stats: 3 Stanley Cups victories and counting. Several All-Star appearances. 10th all time in wins. 2nd goalie ever to score a goal. Career win-loss: 363-195. Career GAA: 2.43. It just doesn't get much better than this. Ever. And yet, he continues to be one of the lowest paid goalies in the league. It seemed that after making the All-Star team again last season, and receiving serious consideration for the Conn Smythe after posting a 1.55 GAA in last year's Cup win, that the talk would let up. But the haters came back again this spring.
After taking his team to yet another Stanley Cup Final showdown, it's time to move on. In fact, it's time to start building Osgood's case for the Hall of Fame. Maybe after he's inducted, people will stop blaming him for Detroit's next 2 game losing streak.
So, if by some blessing from God, Detroit loses to Pittsburgh in the finals, let's hope the blame goes to Datsyuk for scoring only 1 goal, or Chris Chelios for being a cranky old jerk who can't skate and coughs up the puck every time he touches it, or the Dan Cleary, for not being European. Just leave poor old Osgood alone this time.