Osgood Looks Good In His Islanders Debut
By Alan Hahn
September 30, 2001
Atlanta - Chris Osgood stood out in his Islanders debut yesterday in
the team's preseason finale against the Atlanta Thrashers.
It wasn't because of outstanding play by Osgood, who was claimed by
the Islanders in Friday's waiver draft. It was because he arrived
here from Detroit on Friday night with his red and white equipment
that he wore during his eight seasons with the Red Wings. Red and
white tends to clash with Islanders orange, white and blue.
Aesthetically speaking, of course, Osgood didn't look so good. But
from an Islanders perspective, the three-time all-star goalie
couldn't look any better than in an Islanders uniform.
Osgood got off to a good start by making 26 saves last night as the
Islanders beat the Thrashers, 3-1. The Islanders play their regular-
season opener Friday against the Lightning in Tampa.
"He's a proven winner," coach Peter Laviolette said, "and brings a
lot of experience and success to our organization."
Osgood, who hadn't practiced since Thursday's half-hour skate with
the Red Wings, said he was looking forward to getting into a game to
get a feel for his new team. "I've only played in one exhibition
game," Osgood said. "I usually play in five."
His number in Detroit was 30, but last night he wore No. 35, which he
will likely keep throughout the season. His goaltending partner,
Garth Snow, already claimed No. 30.
Osgood is well aware that his arrival affects Snow and Rick DiPietro
the same way that Dominik Hasek's arrival in Detroit affected him.
Snow was the expected No. 1 goalie and DiPietro the backup. Now, it
seems the Islanders will start the season with Snow as the backup and
the 20-year-old DiPietro will be sent to Bridgeport (AHL). Laviolette
wouldn't commit to naming Osgood his No. 1, and stuck to a mantra
he's used throughout training camp.
"If you want to play, you've got to earn it," he said. "That counts
Alexei Yashin spoke for the team when he said there was a reserved
excitement about the acquisition of Osgood, mostly out of respect to
Snow and DiPietro, who are both popular in the locker room. He also
added some food for thought as the Islanders ready for the season
"We have the talent," Yashin said, "but we have to work to prove what
we can do. A bunch of names doesn't make a winning team."
Notes & Quotes: LW Mariusz Czerkawski, playing on a line with C
Alexei Yashin (two assists), had two goals last night, and finished
the preseason with five goals and six assists for a league-leading 11