After the Wings won Game 1 of their Western Conference Quarterfinals match-up with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Chris Osgood was asked if the game was ‘a relief’ for the veteran goaltender.
Osgood responded with confidence, the same confidence he showed in the 20-save victory.
“No, because I don’t doubt myself, ever. People that don’t know me do. I’ve played for 15 years. I mean, I have the most wins in Red Wings playoff history for a reason, not because I’m a bad goalie.”
The Detroit goaltending was a hot topic in Hockeytown heading into the 2009 playoffs, with Osgood acknowledging that he didn’t have his best season this winter. But after last night’s performance, the Wings say that there’s no need to worry about their man between the pipes.
“I think he gained a lot of confidence, but experience helps a lot too,” captain Nicklas Lidstrom
said. “He’s been there before, he knows what he has to do to get ready again, so we expect him to be solid again for us.“
One of the most important things that Osgood helped with was the penalty kill. The Wings finished the season at a 78.3 penalty-killing percentage, but held the Blue Jackets scoreless on five different opportunities Thursday night.
“Ozzie played real well, especially early on in the game,” Lidstrom said. “They had some power plays that he made some big saves on…keeping us in the game early on, on our penalty killing, I think that gave us some momentum when we were able to kill those off.”
Forward Valtteri Filppula
, who had two assists in the 4-1 win, said he was impressed with Osgood’s performance.
“He was great, obviously made really huge saves in the beginning, and that always gives us confidence and makes us feel better, so I think he played a really good game yesterday.”
Filppula said that when a team’s goaltender is playing well, it makes it easier for the offense to focus on scoring.
“Definitely, you don’t have to think about that so much, you can play confident both ends, you know the goalies going to make that save if he has to, so that’s a huge thing.”
Forward Tomas Holmstrom
pointed to a big save Osgood made on Jason Chimera in the early stages of the first period as a game-changing moment.
“The glove save, on Chimera coming out from the corner, Ozzie went out there, threw himself out and a good save there, he played great for us, but we gotta look forward, can’t really look back at this game.”
Osgood will look to continue his stellar performance in goal tomorrow, when the Wings look to take a two-game lead over the Jackets. The game starts at 6 p.m. EST.
“It’s only one game, I know that,” Osgood said. “Got to reset it and get some rest and be ready to play even better on Saturday.”