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THN.com Playoff Blog: With series tied, who should start in goal for Wings?

Edward Fraser
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Jason Arnott and the Predators beat Dominik Hasek for three goals on 14 shots in Game 4. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) Author: The Hockey News

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THN.com Playoff Blog: With series tied, who should start in goal for Wings?

Edward Fraser
By:

Man, oh man did it stink to be a Red Wings or Predators fan (or blogger) north of the border Wednesday night.

Flipping on the ol’ boob tube to catch the puck drop, hopeful watchers were instead welcomed with the third period of the isn’t-this-over-yet Sens-Pens Game 4 matchup.

Where are my tax dollars going? Anyway…

By the time Ottawa’s death rattle finally concluded, the Preds had beaten old man Hasek for a pair and, after an exchange of goals, Chris Osgood came off the bench to replace the 43-year-old.

So, now, after Wednesday night’s 3-2 loss, who starts Game 5…and beyond?

If I’m Mike Babcock, the decision is simple: I turn to Osgood.

Not only was he flawless in finishing out Game 4, Osgood was statistically the better of the two Wings’ backstoppers in the regular season (2.09 vs. 2.14 GAA; .913 vs. .901 SP).

And it’s not like we’re talking about Jimmy Howard here; Osgood, 35, was the Winged Wheel’s go-to guy during their Stanley Cup victory in ‘98 and has more than 750 games of NHL experience.

Yes, Hasek is a future Hall of Famer, but the rubber-band man has struggled in his past two outings and Osgood has earned the opportunity to be No. 1. (Click HERE to vote on who you think should start Game 5)

MORE CHANGES AHEAD?
After having their roster pillaged due to financial uncertainty last summer, Nashville could be in for more changes this off-season when they could lose UFA starting goaltender Dan Ellis and their top blueliner in Shea Weber. The 22-year-old restricted free agent is one of the game’s best young defensemen and will be a prime target for an offer sheet the Preds may not be able or willing to match.

TOOTHLESS MEN AND THE WOMEN WHO LOVE THEM
Sean Avery may have Elisha Cuthbert, Jarret Stoll may have Rachel Hunter, Mike Comrie may have Hillary Duff and even Tie Domi may have Kelly Carlson, but I think I’m most jealous of Jordin Tootoo for his maybe, maybe-not girlfriend, country music star Kelly Pickler.

IN A PERFECT WORLD…
Regular readers of my blog are well aware of my vehement distaste regarding the NHL’s loser-point system. (For those first time visitors, I’m highly in favor of a two-point win, no-point loss system.)

Here is how the NHL standings would look under the 2-0 and 3-2-1 systems. Division winners get the top three spots. Tiebreakers are first decided by games won, next by record vs. team, and finally goals-for.

I’m thinking the Hurricanes join me on board with change.

2 points win; 0 points loss
WEST
EAST
Team
W
L
Pts
Team
W
L
Pts
Detroit
54
28
108
Montreal
47
35
94
San Jose
49
33
98
Pittsburgh
47
35
94
Minnesota
44
38
88
Carolina
43
39
86
Anaheim
47
35
94
New Jersey
46
36
92
Dallas
45
37
90
Washington
43
39
86
Colorado
44
38
88
Ottawa
43
39
86
Calgary
42
40
84
Philadelphia
42
40
84
Nashville
41
41
82
NY Rangers
42
40
84
Edmonton
41
41
82
Boston
41
41
82
Chicago
40
42
80
Buffalo
39
43
78
Vancouver
39
43
78
Florida
38
44
76
Phoenix
38
42
76
Toronto
36
46
72
Columbus
34
48
68
NY Islanders
35
47
70
St. Louis
33
49
66
Tampa Bay
31
51
62
Los Angeles
32
50
64
Atlanta
34
48
68

3 point regulation win; 2 point OT/SO win; 1 point OT/SO loss
WEST
EAST
Team
W(Reg)
L(Reg)
W(OT)
L(OT)
Pts
Team
W(Reg)
L(Reg)
W(OT)
L(OT)
Pts
Det.
47
21
7
7
162
Pit.
39
27
8
8
141
S.J.
40
23
9
10
148
Mon.
37
25
10
10
141
Min.
35
28
9
10
133
Car.
36
33
7
6
128
Ana.
35
27
12
8
137
Ott.
37
31
6
8
131
Dal.
37
30
8
7
134
Phil.
36
29
6
11
131
Cal.
36
30
6
10
130
N.J.
31
29
15
7
130
Col.
33
31
11
7
128
NYR
30
27
12
13
127
Nas.
33
32
8
9
124
Was.
32
31
11
8
126
Chi.
31
34
9
8
119
Bos.
32
29
9
12
126
Van.
29
33
10
10
117
Buf.
30
31
9
12
120
Pho.
29
37
9
7
112
Fla.
29
35
9
9
114
Edm.
22
35
19
6
110
Tor.
28
35
8
11
111
Col.
29
36
5
12
109
NYI
25
38
10
9
104
St.L
29
36
4
13
108
T.B.
27
42
4
9
98
L.A.
25
43
7
7
96
Atl.
19
40
15
8
95

THN.com's Playoff Blogs, featuring analysis and opinion on the action from the night before, with insight on what happened and what it all means going forward, will appear daily throughout the NHL playoffs. Read more entries HERE.

Edward Fraser is the editor of thehockeynews.com. His blog appears Thursdays.

For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, Subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.

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THN.com Playoff Blog: With series tied, who should start in goal for Wings?