Hey, kids, guess what? Hockey's almost here. That means it's time for me to get back into this whole blogging thing that I've neglected during the off-season. Since I lack the creativity to come up with a new gimmick, I decided to continue the Player Profiles series I did last year leading up to the season. I'll be taking a look at a different player (almost) every day between now and when hockey starts. By my count, there are 8 days until the Wings open the regular season. Get excited. Today's subject:
2009-2010 Regular Season: 23 GP, 7-9-4, 1 SO, 3.02 GAA, .888 SV%
2010 Playoffs: N/A
Season Highlight: Meh.
Season Lowlight: I'm guessing losing the starting job and barely playing during the second half ranks up there.
Ozzie's season last year was, in a word, bad. We all know that, so I won't bother going into details. He gave up way too many soft goals and never seemed to have the kind of focus I would imagine one needs to play goalie at the NHL level. By the end of the season, he'd been relegated to faceoff-chart duty on the bench for so long that I'm pretty sure his skates were rusty.
He'll be starting this year as Jimmy Howard's backup, but the Wings can't afford to have him phone in his performance again this season. Mike Babcock can't start Jimmy every single game like he seemed to do during the second half of the year, and Ozzie's going to have to pick up the slack. Whatever issues he has are mental (or due to drinking Pepsi during practice?) and I'm not sure they can be fixed by anyone other than Ozzie himself. Goaltending is my biggest concern heading into the season though, and Osgood is a huge part of that. The Wings need a backup they can feel confident playing in front of, and you could see last season that that confidence deteriorated as Ozzie continued to struggle. He's got to find a way to win some games.
What he needs to do to make me smile: Make the saves that need to be made.