Detroit Red Wings: The Good, The Bad, And The Osgood
Pre-season is always interesting. The scores don’t really matter that much, but what makes the games good to watch, are the new players, the young players, and the new lines that get tested.
Straight off the bat, Modano looks a quality addition to the Wings’ roster. The arguments that he’s too old, are from people who have simply looked at his age, rather than watched him play. He’s got a great hockey brain and he seems to instinctively know where passes are coming from, and where they need to be. I’m very excited to see his participation in this season’s schedule.
Smith, Tatar, Emmerton, and Mursak are all shaping up to be superb prospects, and Ilari Filpulla is also starting to look like a decent signing. When you’ve got that kind of depth, then injuries and suspensions start to worry you a little less. Salei looked pretty solid, and even Janik seemed comfortable, where I’ve seen him look shaky in the past.
The forwards can score, with 11 goals in 4 games being a respectable tally, and the goals are coming from all across the lines. It’s always nice to know that your team isn’t relying on a couple of forwards to bag all your goals.
We’re taking quite a few weak penalties at the minute. The Wings were shorthanded 21 times in their 4 pre-season games so far, but only conceded 1 Power Play Goal. Although it’s great news that the PK is playing well, you don’t want to have to play a man-down too much, as they can’t be expected to keep out every team’s powerplay, multiple times a night.
The Penguins game was particularly tasty, and racked up 59 PIMS (39 in the 1st period, and a game misconduct). Orpik Charlie-horsed Franzen (who missed 55 games last season with a knee injury) and put him out the game. Bertuzzi then beat the hell out of Orpik to make sure nobody thought the Wings were a soft touch, but still. Orpik’s only problem would have been Downey, who’d already fought Boulerice and was still in the box. With Detroit’s only enforcer out the way, Orpik was clear to do as he wished. Sure, he took a pounding from Bertuzzi, but it’s clear that the Wings don’t have a physical threat on their roster, especially since Downey is only trialling and isn’t an official player. Luckily, Franzen is OK, but there was a horrible feeling of ‘not again!’.
Now, I want you to know, in my heart, I love the guy. He’s been a Red Wings goaltender (and an outstanding one) for 13 years, and he’s won 3 Stanley Cups and 2 Jennings Trophies, but the time has come to give it up. He’s simply not got it anymore.
He conceded 5 goals on 27 shots against the Pens, whilst Goalie prospect McCollum came in for the 3rd and shut out. Howard then played against the Hawks and conceded 1 from 8 shots, whilst the Wings other AHL Goalie Joey MacDonald saved 10 of 11. Osgood is then given a whole game against the Hawks again, but gives up 4 goals, before the Rangers game, where he is benched, and Howard backstops a 5-3 win.
I hate to say it, but we’ve won 2 and lost 2. Both losses came when Osgood was in goal, and in the opening game against the Pens, all 5 goals were conceded by Osgood.
Chris, I love you, and you’ll forever be a Red Wings hero, but please, give it up now before it becomes undignified…