Of course, it had to come against the Detroit Red Wings’ hated rival, the Colorado Avalanche.
Sure, it would have been better if Chris Osgood could have earned a milestone that only nine other goalies managed to cross in Detroit, the place where he earned 316 of his 400 career wins. But perhaps it’s more fitting that he did it with a scrappy effort on the road, as he was the genuine top star of the game instead of being simply the sentimental choice. His best work came in the second period, where he stopped all 23 Colorado Avalanche shots, but he made 46 saves overall.
It was one of those games that the most virulent anti-Osgood people will try to ignore, as a goalie who many feel benefited greatly by playing behind the fantastic team in front of him instead saved the day over and over again.
That 400th victory certainly didn’t come easily, as he lost in overtime to the Dallas Stars while he was on the cusp of breaking the milestone and needed an overtime game winning goal by Niklas Kronwall to get it tonight.
Detroit’s explosive power play was the other story of this game, as their man advantage produced every Red Wings goal (four goals in six opportunities). Kronwall, Nicklas Lidstrom, Johan Franzen and Jiri Hudler provided Detroit’s goals while Matt Duchene scored twice and T.J. Galiardi found the net for the Avalanche.
Who knows if Osgood is a true Hall of Fame goalie, but it’s hard to argue against the fact that he squeezed everything he could out of his talent. He managed 12 seasons with 20 wins or more and his overall record (400-216-66-29 thanks to the statistical oddness of transitioning from ties to shootouts, with 50 shutouts) indicates that he has a case for the Hall. He also experienced the team success many HOF voters value, as he was the main guy for two Cup wins and also was on the roster for another championship with the Red Wings.
With Grant Fuhr (403) and Glenn Hall (407) in his sights, Osgood is already in select company. Whether that’s enough to get him enshrined with the game’s all-time greats is to be determined, but he’s certainly enjoyed a special career. Tonight was a glorious example of all he brings (and brought) to the goaltending position. Congratulations, Ozzie.
(Screen shot of Red Wings players congratulating Osgood via FSN Detroit and NHL Game Center.)