Posted 29 March 2010 - 10:01 AM
Players get old. Osgood is aging. It's nothing he's doing wrong, and he performed excellently in the playoffs last year.
Jimmy, unlike Osgood, has this year been playing behind a team which could really not protect him much of the time because of all of the injuries. They also couldn't simply overwhelm the other team offensively and so give him a cushion. He stole many games for the team, and he has simply been excellent on a very consistent basis, not to mention a fairly grueling one.
He's a good goalie. I agree that, as with any other goalie---experienced goalies included---he might not do as well in the playoffs as in the regular season. We'll need to wait and see. However, he has proven to be a clutch goalie so far, something that neither Osgood nor Hasek nor Legace had to consistently be in the last four seasons. Playing Osgood in order to warm him up just in case he must relieve Howard in the postseason was not really an option this year, given that the team needed all the points it could get and given that Howard was simply red-hot.
Jimmy has proven to be a very, very good goalie so far. He has excellent lateral movement, he has great reflexes, he knows when to challenge the shooter and when not to, and he's possibly amongst the best in the league at tracking the puck through screens. His areas in which he needs to improve are rebound control and scrambles in the crease, but he seems like a guy with a good work ethic, one who will be working all the time to improve his game. He waited a long time for his shot at the job; Holland vested a lot of faith in him in giving him the go-ahead this season rather than sticking with Conklin; and Jimmy has taken it and run with it.
On a note of random trivia, did anyone know that Osgood was scheduled to replace Legace before game four against Edmonton, but injured a groin muscle warming up?
(Image courtesy of MabusIncarnate)