I’ll be honest and say I didn’t even see Osgood bite it the first time through. Unlike the majority of the fans in Detroit, I was following the puck around the corner and not waving to the cameras or watching Osgood take the sniper fire. That being said, I think a clear distinction should be made as to how this whole thing affects the series.
Osgood’s last shenanigans came at the same time in each series; just at the end of Game Two and about to take a commanding lead in the series. To say the very least, it was completely unnecessary. While I don’t think it really affected the outcome of the series in any way, it does set the stage for a Game Three where the Pens have something to prove other than if they can put the puck in the net.
Sure, let’s go ahead an say that Petr Sykora (41 PIM on the year) went after Osgood. Okay, he went for an extra bump to send a message after two straight shutouts. However, this isn’t Ruutu going after the goalie, and Laroque was in the press box tonight. This is a 190 lbs goal scoring winger with two inches on the goaltender giving him a nudge, and here is what happens after:
When we saw the replay here, we all made the same flailing swim move simultaneously.
The reality of the situation is that the scoreboard is all that matters and we should leave it at that. However, that seems to be exactly the point. This shouldn’t matter, and there is no reason to sell calls like this so late in the game. What point is there in causing a gong show at the end of a game in which you’ve completely dominated? A shutout streak of over two games and you are going to blow a tire behind the net and get one of your star players in a fight with Gary Roberts?
It’s unnecessary and stupid to act like that, and I guess you can chalk it up to “veteran savvy” or whatever you’d like, but it’s not exactly the kind of leadership I’d like to follow. It’s not gamesmanship when there is no game left to be decided.