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Osgood finally gets Cup recognition

DETROIT Red Wings goaltender Chris Osgood is appreciated by his team and fans but for a guy who has hoisted three Stanley Cups and is one win away from a fourth he commands surprisingly little respect elsewhere.

But for the "Mighty Oz" there is no place like home and as long as his teammates and Red Wings support him that is all that matters.

"I get respect in Detroit, that means the most to me," Osgood told reporters in Pittsburgh on Monday. "Playing in front of my fans there. They've been great to me for 15 years now.

"So that's what means the most to me is the people in Michigan and Detroit. I feel like that's my home. So that's more or less all I really pay attention to."

Playing in great Red Wings teams that have made 18 consecutive playoff appearances and won the Cup four times in 12 seasons, Osgood's contributions have often been taken for granted but this postseason his work has not gone unnoticed.

With the Red Wings just a Game 6 win away from completing a successful Stanley Cup defense against the Pittsburgh Penguins today, the veteran netminder is garnering plenty of Conn Smythe Trophy consideration as the playoff MVP.

Osgood leads the postseason in wins (15), ranks second in goals-against average (2.00), fourth in save percentage (.927) and has a pair of shutouts underlining his status as one of hockey's big-game performers.

"I just know how to win games," shrugs Osgood. "I like the opportunity of playing in the playoffs, playing in big games."

Although Osgood's resume includes three Stanley Cups, there are few individual honors in his trophy case despite the fact he ranks among the top 10 on the all-time list for both regulars season (389) and playoff (74) wins.

Osgood's name has seldom been mentioned for a spot on Canada's 2010 Olympic team while the debate about his Hall of Fame credentials continues.

There is no doubt in Osgood's mind, that he could find a place in both.

"Could I do it (play for Canada at the 2010 Olympics)? Oh, for sure I could do it," he said. "I think I have the mental make-up and I think I'm skilled enough to play there.

"Of course I want to be there (the Hall of Fame) one day, why wouldn't I? It's an awesome thing."


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