Game 2 Notebook: Osgood passes Sawchuk
“He’s been there the last two games. No question about it,” Wings forward Tomas Holmstrom said. “He seems like he’s been just so focused, getting rebounds, if they get rebounds we have the ‘D’ there. And he’s playing some really good hockey for us right now.”
Osgood has three shutouts during the playoffs. With his victory in Game 5 against Dallas, Osgood moved past Sawchuk for most career postseason victories by a Red Wings goaltender. Osgood now has 50 postseason wins in a Wings’ uniform.
Osgood also tied his own record for consecutive playoff wins. He currently leads the NHL in playoffs goals against average (1.38) and is first in save percentage (.939). He has a chance to set a record for the fewest goals against in the playoffs.
“No, I had no idea, to be honest with you,” said Osgood about potentially setting a record. “I try not to think about that or other things. If I do pass things, I usually don’t know about it.”
The fact remains true: as no comment about breaking Sawchuk’s records was mentioned to Osgood during the post-game press conference following Game 2.
“I like to keep my mind on the game and what I have to do during the game not let my mind wander into things that really matter the most when I’m done playing,” he said.
During one stretch of the playoffs, Osgood won nine straight games between Game 5 vs. Nashville through Game 3 at Dallas – matching the franchise record for most consecutive playoff wins, a record already shared with Sawchuk.
Sawchuk recorded nine consecutive playoff victories by winning eight straight playoff games in 1952 and the first playoff game of 1953. Osgood had previously won nine straight when he recorded victories in the last five games of the 1998 playoffs and first four games of the 1999 playoffs.
RATINGS GAME: Saturday’s Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals garnered a 1.8 television rating in the U.S., which amounts to more than 2.3 million viewers -- the highest-rated and most-watched Stanley Cup finals game on cable since 2002, the last year the Wings reached the finals.
Saturday’s game was the highest national rating ever for an NHL game on Versus, and the second-best rating ever in the entire history of the network, behind only Lance Armstrong’s final ride in the 2005 Tour de France.
In Detroit, the game had an 8.4 rating, making Game 1 the top-rated program for its time-slot on cable. Meanwhile, in Pittsburgh, the game garnered a 19 rating.
DETROIT ROCK CITY: Saturday night, three of Detroit’s pro sports franchises each played home games. The Tigers were in the middle of a series with the Minnesota Twins; the Red Wings opened up the Stanley Cup finals against Pittsburgh; and Pistons squared off against the Boston Celtics in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference final.
All three venues were sold out, with a grand total of 83,279 fans in attendance for the trio of games. And if you weren’t a Detroit sports fans, there was still something to do with the Detroit Electronic Music Festival at Hart Plaza, one block east of Joe Louis Arena.
AWARDS IN STEEL CITY: The NHL will honor the winners of three major regular-season trophies and will present two special awards at a luncheon on Wednesday in the Grand Ballroom of the Omni William Penn Hotel in Pittsburgh.
Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals will receive the Art Ross and Maurice Richard trophiesy for leading the league in points and goals, respectively.
The Jennings Trophy, awarded the goaltenders who play a minimum of 25 goals for the team that allows the fewest goals during the regular-season, will be presented to the Red Wings’ Chris Osgood and Dominik Hasek, who combined to allow just 184 goals in the 83 games.
Two other awards will be presented to Toronto captain Mats Sundin (Mark Messier Leadership Award) and Tampa Bay’s Vincent Lacavalier and Vancouver’s Trevor Linden will receive the NHL Foundation Award recognizing the NHL player, who applies the core values of hockey (commitment, perseverance and teamwork).
The other major regular-season awards will be presented at the NHL Awards Show on June 12 at the Elgin Theater in Toronto.
HOME SWEET HOME: The Red Wings improved to 8-1 at home in the playoffs with their Game 1 victory. Detroit's only home loss was to the Dallas Stars in Game 5 of the Western Conference final.
The Red Wings also improved to 11-1 when scoring first, 12-0 when leading after two periods and 12-3 when outshooting their opponent.
DETROIT PARTY: Kid Rock was at Game 2 and had an interesting answer to a question from CBC’s Scott Oake during the second period.
Oake, a veteran TV reporter, asked the native Detroiter and lifelong Red Wings’ fan, what he liked about the current Wings’ team.
Rock cracked a smile and answered, “What do I like? Like I tell all of the girls, everything.”
CHEERY CHERRY: CBC’s Coach’s Corner never pulls punches.
Don Cherry criticized the Penguins for not having someone in front of their net in the first period, which led to Tomas Holmstrom’s goal that gave the Red Wings a 2-0 lead.
“I wondered when there was a time that they could get the puck, as long as we have one guy in front of the net, they’re not gonna score unless you’re (Wayne) Gretzky from behind the net,” said Cherry of the Pens’ defensive zone play. “Always kids, have one guy in front. There is no excuse for this here in the National Hockey League, two guys back, I mean absolutely ridiculous. That’s criminal, here in the Stanley Cup finals for two guys like that.”
Bill Roose and Derek Gluth contributed to this report.