First, let me say that I’m kinda happy the Pittsburgh Penguins won game-three of the SCF last night…
dodging cyber-bricks tossed by Sara, Alan and Wings fan in GA
Hey, settle down kids…they Wings still have a two-one lead… they’ll be just fine. My reasoning here is that I really wasn’t ready for the season to come to an end as early as tomorrow. I’d like for this to stretch out ‘til next week if possible.
Also, given the fact that there will now definitely be a game five played, it also means another playoff viewing party at TJs Saturday night. Drop of the puck is scheduled for just after eight o’clock that evening…so make your plans accordingly & RSVP below, via e-mail or with Trixie.
Another reason I’m glad the Pens took game-three is because I wanted to discuss Conn Smythe Trophy possibilities…and since the person that top my list is Chris Osgood, I didn’t wanna cast too much praise on him and then…ya know…put the “jinx” on him.
But now since Pittsburgh has one in the W column now…I figure I’m good to go with it.
Anyway, like I said, Osgood is my choice to skate away with the Conn Smythe…at least to this point. Even with last night’s loss he is 14-5 in the postseason and sporting a cool .927 SV% and 2.00 GAA. Pretty impressive numbers, eh?
Of the five losses, two of them required overtime to accomplish the feat…4-3 in Chicago last week and that three-OT job in game two of the second round in which Anaheim came away with a 4-3 win as well. Two other defeats were of the 2-1 variety and they also came at the hands…er, wings…of the Ducks.
Then, of course, there was last night’s 4-2 loss in which Osgood gave up 3 goals on 20 shots.
Also playing in Osgood’s favor here is the fact that only six times in the 19 games during the playoffs has he surrendered more than two goals in a game. Only once has an opposing team scored more than three times during regulation…the 6-5 Detroit win that completed their sweep of Columbus.
In short, the man is doing his job.
Making that even more impressive is the fact than many…myself included…thought that if there was one area of weakness the Red Wings had coming out of the regular season, it was between the pipes. Although he did finish with a 26-9-8 record, Osgood’s goals against average was high, (3.09), and his saves percentage was low, (.887%) considering the fact that the Wings held their opposition to 27.7 SA/G during the regular season, (2nd best in the NHL).
But when the playoffs came around…Osgood came to play. And he’s been the difference for the Wings, especially during the Ducks series.
Now, are there others to consider? Oh yeah…you betcha!
One cannot overlook Evgeni Malkin and his 13 goals and 33 points performance so far. Those numbers lead all skaters during the playoffs. Sidney Crosby is right behind him with 14 goals and 15 assists and has won 53.8% of the faceoffs he taken.
Also to be taken into consideration are a pair of Red Wings…Johan Franzen, with 22 overall points and Henrick Zetterberg, last year’s Conn Smythe winner, with 21 points and has won 55.4% of his faceoffs.
But to me, after two months of playoff hockey, the one player sticking out in my mind for this award is Chris Osgood.
Mr. Game Four
Marian Hossa has been held to a pair of assists so far by the Penguins. However, if Thursday night’s game-four is anything like the Wings previous fourth game of the series…the Pens better keep an eye on him. Hossa has six goals so far in the postseason. Two against Columbus in game four of that series…a pair in the fourth game of the Ducks series…and then two more in, you guessed it, game four of their series against Chicago.
Avalanche Make Moves
The Colorado Avalanche have officially fired head coach Tony Granato. Wow…who saw that coming? He isn’t leaving town alone as several other coaches were given their pink slips as well in Denver. Also today, Colorado removed the word “assistant” from Greg Sherman’s title and named him the team’s general manager.