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Off Day Practice quotes: Chris Osgood

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Q.  In regards to last night, do you guys get excited about the way you were able to shut them down over the last two periods or is it more the mentality of:  Hey, it's just one game?

CHRIS OSGOOD:  Yeah, we heard a lot about their offense, how good it was.  And it was last night.  They had some chances.  They played real hard.  We did a good job of taking away the middle in the last two periods, and kept them to the outside as much as we could.

Another difference was to stay out of the box.  That was huge for us the last two periods.  We're happy with what we did the last two periods, but we know it's just one game.  And we have to continue to do it for the rest of the series.

Q.  Chris, maybe this is something only media?types think about.  Did it go through your mind the idea:  Here I am, back here, first game of the Stanley Cup Finals after having been away and having gone through a few things in terms of being the number two guy and having to win the job back?

CHRIS OSGOOD:  Not really.  I don't really think about the past too much.  I don't really look forward that much either.  I just play in the now and play in that particular game as it comes.  And that's really the way I approach it.  It's that simple.  Maybe it comes with age.

There will be time for that when I'm done playing and dwell on what I've done.  And I just simplify it.  I clear my mind and play in the now.  And that's all I do.

Q.  What does it mean when you've got guys like Datsyuk and Zetterberg out there, as flashy as they are, throwing their body around.  Datsyuk led the team in hits last night.  What does it mean for you guys?

CHRIS OSGOOD:  It means the other guys follow their lead.  They're not the most vocal guys in the room.  I don't think you need to be to be a leader.  And both of them are younger guys.  It starts at training camp when you see how hard they work in the scrimmage games, and they're competing all the time.  They work hard off the ice.  I think when younger guys come, they see these are our best players and if they work that hard, they're going to have to do the same thing, too.

That's the way it's always been with Stevie and the same way with Nick and Pav and Hank have picked up from them.  They see what they do on the ice.  They're so good offensively, they could be one dimensional players, but they've decided on their own that they don't want to be that.  And they want to be complete players.  I think it makes our team better as a whole because of it.

Q.  You said before Game 1 you've never given up the starter mentality all the way through.  How do you achieve that?  Especially when the teams around you and the coaching staff is looking at somebody else as the starter and looking at you as the not starter, how do you achieve that?

CHRIS OSGOOD:  It's because I always know I can play.  I'm 35.  I don't think I'd be 15 years deep if I couldn't play.  I'm just a quiet guy.  I don't like bragging about myself.  Save that for another day.

I can play.  I always have been able to play.  I just go out there and take it, play the game in the now and perform.  I don't think much about that either.  I just do what I have to do in practice and off the ice to be ready to play.  And when given the chance this year, I think I've done pretty good.

Q.  Chris, Kenny Holland was talking about during the lockout time you worked with a coach from Michigan to work on your butterfly technique.  Can you talk about how much that's changed you from before the lockout to now?

CHRIS OSGOOD:  What I did is I went and talked to him, not only him, but Jim Bedard, would go to Niagara Falls and work with them, the both of them.  I was fortunate to have two guys.  But I just took what I did good before and learned new moves and learned things that would make me better and kind of meshed it into one.

So I took what I did good, and then I erased the things I didn't do so good.  And I improved on the new things I needed to learn to become the goalie I am today.  That's pretty much what I did.  It took a while, it just doesn't happen overnight, but now I think I've got it down pretty good.

Red Wings vs. Penguins transcripts
Off Day - May 25:

Q.  As you know, Detroit is very hard on its goaltenders, to hear them last night chanting your name and all that.  Do you ever say:  At last, I've finally earned the city's respect?

CHRIS OSGOOD:  It's funny how myths get started.  I remember when Tim Cheveldae was here, talk about the pass, that's how it got started, him and Bryan Murray.  To be honest with you, I've never felt that.  I'm being pretty honest with you.  They've always been behind me.  There have been games in Dallas when they scored in overtime from the red line.  Then the next game they're chanting my name before the game, we end up getting a shutout 2?0.  It's never been a fact.

I don't feel it that way.  I feel like I love playing here.  They like to see me do well.  That's the way I come across, I'm a simple guy that loves to play for the Red Wings.  I play hard every night, and I think the fans like that.  I give them my all for them every time I step on the ice.  I love when they chant my name.  It pumps me up and gives me energy.  It does make me feel good.  I'd be lying if I ? I'd be giving you a dull answer if I said I didn't think about it because I do like it.  Who wouldn't.

Q.  Can you give your perspective as a goaltender on Holmstrom, and have they swung too far the other way now in terms of protecting goaltenders?

CHRIS OSGOOD:  I don't think so.  I'd just like the rule to be more defined.  Holmer gets a disallowed goal against Dallas, it's just a disallowed goal.  And his faceoff in the second, he does pretty much the same thing again, and he gets a penalty for it.  There's guys in the crease, and the ref will say to you that wouldn't have counted if they scored, but our guy pushed him in.

We just need to define the rule in the off?season here and decide what it's going to be.  And for Holmer it's frustrating, because he's making a conscious effort to stay out of the blew paint.  He says it every game.  When he's out of it, he still gets a disallowed goal.  You could tell he was frustrated after that goal last night because it was the second time when he's mentally thinking to himself that he needs to stay out of there and trying to do his best to do it, and then it gets disallowed.

I don't believe they're overprotecting the goalies.  I don't think guys are running the goalies this year in the playoffs like they have in the past, because they know they can't go there.  But to me that was a goal last night more than the other one was in Dallas that was disallowed.

Q.  You guys talk about fast starts and with the way you guys started last night with four penalties, how were you able to shut the door on a couple of those crucial saves early on?

CHRIS OSGOOD:  Just trying to follow the puck.  Malone in front of me.  Crosby and Malkin making great passes and obviously Hossa, great shooter and Gonchar.  For me I tried to stay big.  Tried to get as much of my body in front of screen shots as I could.  Just track the puck.  They made the nice passes to the back door a few times.  I just try to get over there as fast as I can and make myself big.

The one thing we did good on penalty kills, we didn't give them very many second chances.  When we did get our stick, we got it down the ice.  That's important against them, not to give them second and third opportunities in their power play.

Q.  I know you said you haven't thought so much about what's gone on with you in the past, but has it crossed your mind at all about the fact this is the same franchise that placed you on waiver seven or eight years ago and now you're back three wins away from delivering another Stanley Cup?

CHRIS OSGOOD:  I don't think about that either.  Like I said, everybody ? not everybody.  Not very many people at all talk about when I went to Long Island.  That was one of the best years of my career.  People forget about that.  We were, like, 30th the year before.  I think we finished, like, sixth.  As a player, I did it.  I was there.  So I know that was one of my best years I've ever had.  And enjoyed it.  And it was time for me to leave.  I was here for 10 years.

Some things just run its course.  And that was my time.  But I always knew I'd be back.  I never had the feeling I wasn't going to be back.  I just bided my time.  I didn't go to Kenny and beg him, because I didn't want to put him in a bad position where I was forcing myself back.  And during the lockout it was time for me to come back and become a Red Wing again, and I loved it.  I wanted to be back here.  I knew I would, and it's great to be here again.

Q.  With all of that said, do you feel like you can enjoy the ride a little bit more?  You've talked a couple of times over the past couple of days about your maturity and calmness at this point in your career.  So with another Cup run compared to '98, can you enjoy each day and kind of appreciate the process more?

CHRIS OSGOOD:  When you're younger, you tend to exaggerate things that are said.  Sometimes you get too high and sometimes you get too low.  And you think maybe a little bit more than you should.

Now I'm just calm.  I just enjoy the games, and I can't wait to play the games.  I don't really dwell on what's said between games.  Or say we win, I don't listen to people say how great we are.  Because I know it's only one game.  I just move on to the next game.  I get to play.  To the point I'm sitting here, I look forward, I want to get on the ice and play the game tomorrow night

Q.  Listening to you speak about you always knew you'd be back, you don't hear a lot of athletes speak with such passion about an organization, especially in the midst of their career.  Can you expand on that about being a Red Wing?

CHRIS OSGOOD:  Drafted me in '90, '91, something like that.  I've known Kenny since I was 14 years old.  Small town Canada.  So I always loved playing here.  It was the original six team.  Like I was asked before, the thing about being hard on goalies, they were really never hard on me.  They wanted us to win.  There's pressure on us to win.  If our team had a bad game, they booed us sometimes, gave it to us sometimes.  No different than Long Island or St. Louis when I was there.  Fans have always been great to me, individually to me, and I've loved playing here.  And also we got a good team where you have a chance to win every year.  So those factor in, and I love the city, the surrounding area and the city.

Those are reasons why I wanted to be back here and continue to play.  I just had a belief I'd always be back at one point in time.  I'm glad I'm back here again.

Q.  You get a different perspective than we have on Nicklas Lidstrom.  What is it that you see that we don't see that makes him the best defenseman in the League?

CHRIS OSGOOD:  I always compare him.  I call him the Peyton Manning of NHL because he gets the puck behind the net, he sees the whole ice, and he never makes a bad pass.  It's always on somebody's stick.  Regardless, there can be one guy right near him, two guys, he's got patience where he's standing back there.  I'm always, like, he's going to pass it, because the guy's stick is getting closer and closer, and he always has a knack for zinging it through somebody, around somebody's tape.  He just never misses.  He's a perfect player.  That's what I call him too.  I've got a couple of nicknames for him.

Q.  You were saying you're looking forward, just want to get back in there and get playing now, if they'd let you.  The Penguins are going to probably come out a little harder, probably learned a little something last night, what it means to be here and all that.  Do you anticipate them coming out even harder than they did in the first period yesterday?

CHRIS OSGOOD:  I don't know if they can.  They were flying the first yesterday.  I mean I think they'll gain some experience from the game.  I mean so will we.  We didn't play great in the first.  I mean they had a real solid first period.  And then we possessed the puck very good for the last two periods.

And we got pucks deep instead of turning them over, which is a no?no against Pittsburgh.  You can't do that.  And we kind of grinded them down for the last two periods, which is a style we maybe would not have played three years ago.  Now we're capable of doing it and getting some ? we scored some nice goals, but we also scored some goals where we forechecked and got some turnovers.  And maybe before we might not have done that by using our bodies and causing turnovers.  Now we're more accustomed to play the grind 'em out type of game rather than just a flashy game.

Q.  Is Pavel tougher and stronger than people realize, than maybe even you guys realized at first?

CHRIS OSGOOD:  No, we always knew he was strong.  The thing with him, he uses such a long stick, and he's got a huge lower body.  His legs are big, and he's very strong on his skates.  So he's real hard to knock off the puck.

And the thing he's great at is he's backchecking and stealing pucks off guys when they're coming through the neutral zone.  So it's kind of an underrated weapon for him where players have to be conscious of him, even when he's coming from behind, because if he does get the turnover, he's going the other way.

He's great in the corner protecting pucks, not only in the offensive zone, but in our zone battling guys and getting the puck off them and getting them out of our zone.

Q.  When it comes to Nicklas Lidstrom and his vision that you talked about the way he prepares, is he a guy you think would make a good coach at some point?

CHRIS OSGOOD:  Might not be loud enough.  (Laughter) he's got the smarts for it, definitely.  He's such a great player.  I mean it's hard to say.  Not necessarily because you're a great player means you're going to be a great coach.  He's so smart, and he knows the game, he plays it at a different level.  He sees the game differently than anybody else I've seen.  That would definitely make him a good teacher of the game.  He could show kids or other players how he sees things differently than maybe they would when they're growing up or learning how to play in this league.

Like I said, he's a perfect player.  He doesn't do anything wrong.  He would make a good coach for that.
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