Despite the NHL lockout extending into its second month, a sort of normalcy was felt on Nov. 12 in Toronto. There were no breaking headlines surrounding the lack of negotiations between NHL and its Players' Association. Instead, hockey's newest legends were granted permission into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Pavel Bure, Adam Oates, Mats Sundin and Joe Sakic were ushered into the Hockey Hall of Fame in what might be one of the deepest classes in recent memory. With the 2013 class not being announced until the dog days of summer, one can only hope and wait that two former Red Wings, Brendan Shanahan and Chris Chelios, will given the call to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Red Wings fans will also be anxiously waiting for the 2014-15 season when franchise defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom is eligible for the Hockey Hall of Fame.
But lost in the limelight is a former Red Wing looking to find his way into the Hall of Fame: Chris Osgood.
When Chris Osgood took to the net each night for Detroit, he was truly cementing his legacy as one of the greats. Ozzie played a total of 565 games in Hockeytown, compiling a record of 317-149-46-68 with a save percentage of .904 and a 2.53 GAA in 14 seasons, according to NHL.com.
Then there were the seasons with St. Louis and New York Islanders that looked good statistically, but Osgood lacked some consistency at points during his four-season hiatus away from Hockeytown.
Nevertheless, Chris Osgood approached the challenge in front of him the same every night. It's what helped him win three Stanley Cups and collect 401 career victories, tenth best all-time among NHL goaltenders. He was well on his way to winning his fourth Stanley Cup in 2009 before falling one game short to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Some argue that the stats indicate Osgood was a benefactor to the superior talent in front of him. In reality, all nine goalies in front of Ozzie on the list played in some of the greatest eras in hockey and on some of the most famous teams in history.
Grant Fuhr was between the pipes during the Oilers dynasty in the middle 1980s. Patrick Roy won three Stanley Cups with teammates who will soon join him in the Hall of Fame. Also, Red Wings' great Terry Sawchuk took to the net when "The Production Line" aided the team to three Stanley Cups in four seasons.
Goaltenders like Curtis Joseph never won a Stanley Cup in their career and Ed Belfour won a Stanley Cup with a talented team in 1999.Not to mention Osgood has more playoff shutouts (15) than Belfour (14) did in his entire career. He only needed one more shutout to tie Joseph who sits at third all-time in NHL history (NHL.com).
He never won a Vezina Trophy or a Conn Smythe Trophy. However, in Chris Osgood's defense, the man also brought a quiet demeanor and a work ethic that few could ever duplicate on the ice.
It's evident in the many fans who would chant "Ozzie, Ozzie, Ozzie" after every spectacular save he made.
So as Osgood becomes eligible to join the NHL's elite in the Hockey Hall of Fame very soon, the case can be made both ways for a goaltender who overcame being selected 54th overall in the 1991 NHL Draft.
Whether you knock Osgood's true potential because of the talent in front of him or if you believe Osgood's call to the Hall is coming, hockey fans were fortunate to watch one of the game's more underrated and quiet legends between the crease.
Follow Garrett Kolodziej on Twitter @gkolodziej248 for more information on NHL, hockey talk, news and much more.
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