Easy, Ozzy!: Detroit Goaltender Chris Osgood Strikes Stars' Mike Ribeiro

Nick SheSenior Analyst IMay 11, 2008

When I should have been paying attention to my girlfriend during our dinner date last night, I was instead focusing intently on Game Two of the Western Conference finals.  Anytime a game stays within a one-goal margin for the majority of the contest its exciting enough. Add in a blossoming rivalry and its that much better.

Chris Osgood claims that at the end of the game that it was an accident that his stick hit Mike Ribeiro.  Watch the replay once, and you can tell it was no accident. There was no reason for Osgood to even have his stick moving in the direction he put it at that time.  

Osgood claimed in the postgame that he was defending Niklas Lidstrom, who he called the Wings' best player. I am curious what Chris Osgood was protecting Lidstrom from. Watch the video. Niklas Lidstrom is nowhere near the path Ribeiro is headed.

I am missing the point of this by Chris Osgood.  Are you trying to be a hero?  Trying to get the early renewal on your man card?  You blatantly went after a pretty much defenseless player, then decided to curl up and take a dive after he whacked you with his stick.

You overplayed that one Ozzy, no questions asked.  I didn't see you in that much pain when a slapshot traveling a good 95 mph hit you in the same place, but a little slash there from a stick and you are in a world of hurt.  Way to play that one for everything its worth.

I am a bit torn on what kind of punishment should be handed out for these two.  One thing I do know is that Osgood's should be more severe than Ribeiro's, whether be in the form of a fine or a suspension.  

I am not sure what was done is worthy of a suspension for either team, but the bottom line is that Chris Osgood was the instigator last night.  I have no problem whatsoever with Mike Ribeiro slashing Osgood back. I am not saying that is the right thing to do but I can't say I blame him for doing what he did.  

I do not think either man should get off freely, but I am not convinced that either is exactly suspension worthy, either.  As I have said earlier, Osgood should have the more severe punishment.  Not only was it a cheap shot, he lied about his reason for doing it.  

If Osgood doesn't butt-end Ribeiro, none of this occurs.  Chris Osgood gets off scot-free while Ribeiro is given a match penalty.  I really hope this is looked into a bit more by Gary Bettman and company, because the NHL got this ruling entirely wrong.