|Chris Osgood signed a 3-year contract extension with Detroit yesterday.|
The three-year extension basically provides Osgood with an opportunity to finish what is beginning to look more and more like a Hall-of-Fame career in the city where it all started. With 355 career victories -- 271 of those have come in Motown -- Osgood is just 81 shy of former Red Wing Terry Sawchuk, who had 352 of his 447 career wins in Detroit.
“You look at the guys who have played here in the past, legendary players,” Osgood said. “Guys who have won and we want to finish our careers here and obtain some goals, whether it be guys scoring goals or assists or games-played; for me wins and trying to see how close I can get to (Terry) Sawchuk and win some more Cups here.”
One could certainly make the case that the 35-year-old has been the most underrated player in the NHL this season. In 23 games, Osgood has posted a record of 19-2-1. He also leads the NHL with a 1.68 goals-against, and is tied for the League lead with a .932 save percentage.
Sounds like someone deserves to be in Atlanta on Jan. 27, no?
“That would rank right up there,” Osgood said. “Sign a contract and go to the All-Star Game, which would be pretty cool. I would love to go there. It would be a lot of fun for me, especially at this stage of my career.”
Much like his extension, it would also be very well deserved.
Adams Award candidates? -- You certainly can’t underestimate the job Mike Babcock has done with the Detroit Red Wings.
But when it’s all said and done, it may not be far-fetched to consider two other choices for the sport’s top coach in 2007-08: Atlanta’s Don Waddell, and Washington’s Bruce Boudreau.
With Wednesday night’s 2-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche, the Caps have won four of their last five games. After a dismal start that cost Glen Hanlon his job, Boudreau has Washington in playoff contention. Wednesday’s win moved the Caps within four points of a postseason spot in the Eastern Conference.
Sure, the win over the Avs was ugly — David Steckel’s fluke goal turned out to be the game-winner. But Boudreau’s club will take wins any way it can get them.
"Two points is two points," Boudreau said. "I believe this was one of the more exciting games we've played this season. We had a few chances to put it away, and once we got that goal we started to believe."
Seriously, anybody else think the Caps were a playoff team on Nov. 22, when Hanlon lost his job? If you did, you may want to think about being John Edwards’ new co-host.
More woe for Hawks -- Yes, they’re hurt. Yes, they’re young.
But the Chicago Blackhawks are inventing new ways to lose every night, as the skid reached seven games thanks to Stu Barnes’ shorthanded goal in the third period in a 3-1 defeat at the hands of the Dallas Stars at the United Center on Wednesday night.
Even Nikolai Khabibulin looked uncomfortable — or at the very least, inconsistent — in this one, as the Stars’ first two goals were uncharacteristic from what we normally see from the Blackhawks’ netminder. Khabibulin was sharp in the second period before allowing Barnes’ long tally in the third.
"It's tough … we're working hard, but the losses keep mounting," said rookie Patrick Kane, who was denied on a penalty shot in the second period. "We're not thinking about the streak when we're out on the ice, but off the ice you can tell it has to end. Even the fans are restless."
Could be worse … could be the Cubs.
Glad to be here -- Brandon Bochenski is one happy Duck.
One week after being dealt from Boston to Anaheim, Bochenski scored his first goal for his new team, connecting early in the third period of the Ducks’ 5-0 victory over Toronto.
What is it like to go from Boston, which is scrapping to get back into the playoffs, to the defending Stanley Cup champs?
“It’s a fresh start at the top,” said the 25-year-old right wing, who was scoreless in 20 games with Boston and two with the Ducks before beating Vesa Toskala.
Bochenski said his new teammates have made his transition easy.
“They made me feel very comfortable right away,” he said. “That’s why this team is able to do the things it’s done.”