Several things have been lost during the lockout thus far — jobs, games and optimism, to name a few.
But how about friendship?
That’s the case in Detroit, where Wings goalie Jimmy Howard is lamenting the loss of his good buddy Chris Osgood.
Since he entered the NHL, Jimmy Howard has come to rely on Chris Osgood — as a mentor, a booster, and most of all, a friend.
The lockout that’s now in its 11th day dividing team personnel from players has left Howard unable to have contact with Osgood, who retired from the Wings a year ago and transitioned to goaltending development coach.
“It’s weird,” Howard said, laughing, of their new relationship. As for play dates between his young son, James Russell IV, and Osgood’s young son Max, “only our wives can get together.”
The two have known each other since the end of the last lockout. In 2005-06, a 21-year-old Howard made his debut for the Wings while Osgood battled it out with Manny Legace for the No. 1 gig.
Since then, other Detroit netminders have come and gone — Dominik Hasek, Joey MacDonald, Ty Conklin — but Howard and Osgood (Howgood? Osward?) have remained constants.
As such, Howard has a cache of drills and practice routines learned from Osgood and Detroit goalie coach Jim Bedard. That’s how he’s keeping sharp. He’s also fortunate to have the assistance of a potential new BFF — Todd Bertuzzi.
“I know what I have to do, and I’ve worked with Jimmy for long enough that I know a lot of his drills,” Howard said. “And Bert always participates in them before practice, so we’ll be able to get things going here once we get used to skating out here by ourselves.”