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Osgood to start Sunday

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Osgood has been awful all year. Maybe a tiny glimpse of greatness here and there... but nothing to hang your hat on by any means. The only hope at this point for Osgood is that Jimmy completely melts down (doubtful) or that he can get himself together enough to be a competent back-up next season.

How can people say Osgood has been so bad this year? He's only played in 23 games ALL season and non of them with any consistency. How can he perform to anyone's standards when he wasn't really given the chance to get into a rhythm with some consistent play. I understand why he wasn't played but everyone is making it sound like he's played half of the games an and sucked in them all. We've seen him perform when he was needed, and I'm sure if he's needed again he'll do is best and hopefully it will be enough.

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It seems people are forgetting the context of the situation when Babcock made the decision to go with Howard. Osgood was going through a second consecutive regular season funk. All the same patterns were there from last season. Babs gave him chance after chance after chance after chance to work it out. In the meantime, Ozzie's letting in soft goals left and right and killing any confidence or momentum the team could generate. Obviously the team lost some offense in the offseason. Injuries were starting to pile up. So Babcock didn't have time to let Osgood work it out because the team in front of him COULDN'T score 4 or 5 goals every night so they could win like in olden times. The Wings needed wins fast as they were falling behind in the standings.

And this whole time Jimmy has been starting, has there been a game we could say, "Sure, we can lose this one"? That is the pre-requisite for starting Osgood. You're basically saying, based on recent experience, there's a good chance we could lose this game or this string of games until whatever voo-doo occurs that transforms him from one of the worst goalies in the league to one of the best. Nobody knows what that process is or how many losses that represents, least of all Osgood. But he sure does pretend to know the process when he runs his mouth to the press. Speaking of which...

Remember when Ozzie got in front of the cameras and basically whined about not being started and getting rusty? If you don't think that something snapped inside Babcock, who has a zero tolerance policy for divas and drama queens, you don't know Babcock. He's old school. And his memory is infinite.

I literally think that Babs looked at the standings this weekend, knew it was inevitable the Wings would clinch one way or the other, knew he'd probably lose the tail end of the back to back based on the trend of the team's play in the last couple games (you can't win them all) and wanted to give Howard a rest and preserve his stats for the Calder competition. If ever there were a game to play Ozzie, it was Sunday's game. That game was made to lose.

I don't really think the Red Wings management is all that concerned about seeding and matchups. I think the point was to get in. And now that's out of the way, Osgood can start until it really counts.

Maybe going to the media wasn't the proper way of handling it, but Ozzie still has a point to this day. I don't think he got chance after chance this season like you said. Once he got hit by the flu, there was never a string of starts from that point on. To be perfectly fair, Ozzie wasn't all that bad in October -- certainly nothing like last season. I'm not even advocating that Ozzie should be the starter -- clearly Jimmy has earned that honor and good for him and the team alike. However, there's more that meets the eye than the Red Wings needing points and Jimmy making every start. Remember the Nashville game in December? I do and I remember who started the next game too.

I still think Babcock messed up with the goalies this season and considering he has a history of questionable goaltender management, it isn't so far-fetched to consider that Ozzie's beef is legitimate and personal. I know the Red Wings needed wins and the goalie that gave/gives them the best chance to achieve that is Jimmy Howard. However, no goalie is going to succeed in a backup role making one start in over two months. I am still puzzled (though not shocked) at the number of threads and negativity surrounding Osgood here. What the hell did people expect from someone that has made one start in 2010? It seems no matter what he does, there is always going to be a group of people that will never appreciate what Ozzie has meant to the Red Wings organization. We have some seriously fickle fans that want to throw away any player (Draper, Maltby, Ozzie, Homer before the season) at the first sight of "poor" performance in their eyes. The same people who were probably chanting "Ozzie!" during the playoffs now abandon him and hope he fails.

Ozzie has done his best given the tough circumstances. Imagine being the best goalie in the Stanley Cup Playoffs two straight years and playing one time in two months. Any person with pride is going to be frustrated with that. He isn't a "diva or drama queen" -- no one in the Red Wings lockeroom by any account would agree with that statement for a second especially Jimmy Howard. For all of Babcock's marvelous coaching skills, he's as stubborn as they come. By all accounts, I want and hope Jimmy Howard succeeds in the playoffs, but if he should falter Babcock's all-or-nothing attitude with Jimmy pretty much ruined any chance of Ozzie taking over.

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