Spotlight on the Stanley Cup: Goaltending
Chris Osgood is and always has been a fantastic NHL goalie. Unfortunately his propensity to let in an occasional long shot has tarnished an otherwise sparkling reputation. Osgood finished in the top ten in wins, goals against average, save percentage and shutouts during the regular season, and has continued to be solid in the playoffs. He made up for allowing a horribly soft 90-foot slap shot in the game 5 overtime loss to Dallas with his second shutout of the series in the clincher.
Despite a 2.30 Goals Against Average last season, coach Scotty Bowman opted to go with veteran Mike Vernon to carry them to the Cup. This year, the Cup is Osgood's to win or lose. Four more wins would go a long way in silencing his detractors.
If the playoffs ended after the last series, Washington goalie Olaf Kolzig would win the Conn Smythe Trophy (playoff MVP) hands down. After single-handedly winning games for the Caps against the Bruins and Senators, "Olie the Goalie" outplayed the world's best, Buffalo's Dominik Hasek to vault the Caps to the Stanley Cup Finals. The 6-3, 225-pound goalie has posted four playoff shutouts thus far, tying an NHL record, en route to a league-best 1.69 goals against average. He'll need to continue his sensational play for the Capitals to have any kind of shot. There's no indication that he won't.