Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Without question, Chris Osgood belongs in the Hockey Hall of Fame

Most sports debates are good ones. There are the rare few that are ridiculous, though.
Among the most ridiculous is the one we have endlessly in this town: Whether Chris Osgood belongs in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
There should be no doubt he does.
He is 10th on the all-time list for wins at 401. Eight of the nine goalies ahead of him have been elected to the Hall of Fame. The one exception is Curtis Joseph. The knock on him: He never won the Stanley Cup. Osgood did - twice as the primary goalie, and another time when he was the primary goalie during the regular season and backed up Mike Vernon during the playoffs.
Osgood ranks 24th all-time in goals against average at 2.49 - ahead of such hall of famers as Glenn Hall, Johnny Bower and Patrick Roy.
His playoff record was 74-49. His goals against average a sparkling 2.09. His save percentage above 91. Chris Osgood wasn't a good goalie, he was a great goalie by any standard of the definition. He wasn't just a product of the Red Wings' strength overall, which his detractors claim.
He had winning records with the Islanders and St. Louis - teams that have tended to miss the playoffs since he departed. He took both seven game series in the opening rounds before losing.
And what have the Red Wings done when Osgood hasn't been one of their goalies? They won the Stanley Cup 2002. That's it. He was paramount to their success in 1997, 1998 and 2008 - and also played extraordinarily well in 2009 when the Red Wings advanced to the finals.
I understand how difficult this town is on goalies, but the notion some have that Osgood has been a glorified backup is absurd.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gotta agree with you, Book.

Funny thing is, if the Wings pop just ONE MORE GOAL in the Finals against Pittsburgh in 2009, Osgood is an AUTOMATIC for the Hall of Fame.

One goal means he's not HoF worthy? Come on.

If his personality and playing style was as showy and flamboyant as Roy or Brodeur or Hasek, we wouldn't even be having this conversation either. He'd just flat out be IN the HoF... no questions asked.

Sometimes, these 'tweeners can be tough calls. Alan Trammell and Jack Morris, for example. Very good players... arguably great players... who just may not have the numbers... or the showmanship and media attraction... that might make them shoo-ins for a HoF.

I think Osgood's numbers are there, however. There really isn't much doubt about that. It's only the showmanship and media angle holding him back, imo.

11:27 AM 

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