Hmmm. Not sure I liked this signing on first reading about it when I ft home tonite. After reading about it here I gotta say I feel more confident about it. At first my reaction was "why the hell are we signing a broken defensman ?"
Few questions: righty or lefty? I hope he's a righty. Is ritola on a two way contract which would allow him to play in the minors without being subject to waivers, ala abdelkader last year? Is kindl out of minor league options? Or can he be sent down without waivers too? If ritola can be sent down with no issues, then look for Kenny to put him there (which is what I thought it was for ritola). I haven't read one thing on the boards this summer that pinned these issues down. If kindl is out of options, what's the point of having salei? I'm hoping for some informed responses...
Ritola and Kindl are out of options and are subject to waivers. Ritola has a 2-way on the first year of his contract, but like any 2-way deal it only affects how much he gets paid in the minors and nothing to do with waivers. Salei is meant to be a steadying force on the 3rd pairing and to make sure that our 3rd pairing does not start out as Ericsson and Kindl. He is a stay at home defenceman which is something we needed to get to replace Lilja.
The guy piles up secondary assists on his way to the finals, mails it in on the biggest stage and is awarded the Conn Smythe? I think, more than anything, this speaks to Chicago's depth. Personally, I think Niemi was more valuable to his team throughout the playoffs but it could have also gone to Duncan Keith or Patrick Kane as well. Yzerman look out, Johnny Toews is about to steal your legacy.
Osgood is rusty and no amount of rustoff is going to remove the rust. Unless changing goalies makes your team better at faceoffs, makes the reffing fair and makes your team play a better game, than what is the point of changing Howard for Ozzie. We are not losing due to Howard, we are losing key battles, faceoffs, etc... and switching to Osgood is not going to fix any of that.
Congrats to Jimmy on getting his first playoff shutout, he played much better tonight and so did the whole team. Jimmy showed that he can handle the pressure of the playoffs it just took a few games for him to get used to it and he bounced back from last game.
Also something else that I found out, it has been 16 years to this day since the last time a Wings rookie goalie got a shutout in the playoffs which was a 4-0 win over the sharks in the second Wings home game of that series. I'm going to guess that most people will know who that goalie is.
He has been a bright spot this season and is right up there with top veteran goalies in his stats. He changed a lot of peoples thoughts from the start of the season with his strong consistent play. To me he is the one who should win the Calder and should get into the top 3 in Vezina voting.
His career would read like that of Patrick Lalime, Chris Huet, or Dan Cloutier without having played on powerhouse Wings teams.
Except the years he played with the Islanders and Blues, they were not powerhouse teams and he still helped them to the playoffs. Osgood got the job done in those years and he helped us to the playoffs in 97 by playing most of the games, and won as a starter in 98. He's never going to be remembered outside of Detroit, but he played great during the 2008 cup run and in last years playoffs he would have been right up there to get the Conn Smythe had we won. Which would have been amazing to see after a bad regular season.
Also if there is only one reason why I believe Howard will not falter mentally in the playoffs and why he will not have a horrible sophomore season like many second year players do is because Osgood is mentoring him. Do I think Osgood will take the starting job back from him, no I don't and I am an Osgood fan. Really I just want him to hit 400+ wins and retire as a Wing with his name on the cup again. Next season I hope Osgood can get more games and play like he is truly able to and force Jimmy to be even better then he is this year to keep the starting job.
Like I said in my last post it's good to see him play again and I hope he has a good game and gets the win to help the team get farther up in the standings, and removing the rust from him is more to have both goalies warm as insurance.
All things aside, the playoffs are a different beast and I wouldn't be surprised if the team we play in the first round starts taking runs at Howard so it's best for Babcock to be prepared if something happens to him. Osgood getting games now is more about letting Howard have a few nights off for well deserved rest before the playoffs and getting Osgood ready if he has to be called upon.