There was a funny little scene at the end of practice today, as coach Mike Babcock ended up using words that rarely cross his lips while deflecting talk of when Chris Osgood should get his next start. Babcock has a routine: One game at a time, he decides who's starting in goal. But with Osgood having hit 399 career victories Saturday at New Jersey, Babcock repeatedly has been asked of late when Osgood will get his next start. It won't be Wednesday, when the Wings host St. Louis, because Babcock said today that, as expected, Jimmy Howard will be in net. The Wings next play Friday at Chicago, Sunday at home against Dallas, Dec. 22 at home against Vancouver and then Dec. 23 at St. Louis. If nothing else, Osgood is certain to be in Dec. 23, as it's the second of a back-to-back game.
But when a media member (not a beat writer, by the way) asked Babcock today whether he had a warm, gooey spot for letting Osgood go for No. 400 at home, Babcock was hilarious.
"I never thought much about that," he said, smiling. "I thought about winning. And I thought Howie is starting tomorrow. But you guys have brought it to my attention that I should, so, now I'm going to go back, I'm going to sit in my office, I'm going to talk to the coaches. I'm going to say, 'Should we have a warm, gooey spot -- is that how I say it, warm, gooey? OK? See you guys."
As nice as it might be to see Osgood become the 10th goaltender in NHL history to reach 400 victories at home, Babcock's bottom line, from the day he got here, has always been about winning. So if Howard plays well Wednesday, he'll be in Friday, and probably Sunday, too.
Babcock isn't concerned with when Osgood reaches his milestone, just that he does.
"I just want him to do it," Babcock said. "I don't care if that's at home or on the road. But I mean, we'll be thrilled for him when that happens. The good thing about it is, it's going to happen."
Edited by evilzyme, 14 December 2010 - 04:29 PM.