If you missed MSG intermission reporter Shannon Hogan's interview with former New York Islanders and Detroit Red Wings goalie Chris Osgood that aired during the first intermission of Friday's game between the two teams, it's worth a viewing here or posted at the Isles official site.
For discussion and for the video-challenged, some salient quotes to discuss follow below. Hogan came to MSG from working with FSN Detroit, where she worked with Osgood in his analyst role, so it's a pretty comfortable, thorough conversation between the two.
Memories of 2001-02
Asked about the Islanders' strong first 30 games of 2014-15, Osgood said it reminded him of when he was claimed on waivers at the start of a season that began a rebirth back in 2001-02:
They've got a good young team, and added some veterans, kind of the same that year when we added guys like [Alexei] Yashin, [Michael] Peca, [Adrian] Aucoin, had some good pieces that were guys who achieved nice careers before they got to Long Island. And then when we got there we gelled with the young guys, the same way they're doing now.
You can tell, just watching games on TV, the energy is back in this team again.
A Rebirth, and New Additions
Osgood was asked what stands out most about the team?
Just how exciting they are. In years past the Islanders have struggled scoring. Now you can really tell the young guys have matured -- and they've done a good job of keeping them there. They haven't gotten rid of them, haven't lost them, they went through the tough times, the growing process the growing pains so to speak.
And they've added some nice pieces, Garth Snow goes out and adds...[Nick] Leddy and [Johnny] Boychuk are to me the big difference makers. They've won the Cup. Respected not only by their teammates but by people around the league. They're good defensemen, they're both top-four defensemen, they've added an element the Islanders haven't had before, and that's guys that have won. You can't overestimate the value of guys who have held the Cup over their head and know what it takes. That's infectious and goes around the team.
Memories of the Playoffs, the Fans
Osgood was asked about his favorite memories from his time with the Isles:
The playoffs against Toronto. The game we clinched to make the playoffs, where the crowd was great. And I would say, you talk to Pat LaFontaine, guys who have played for the Islanders -- the people love the team. People [elsewhere] don't realize that people on Long Island really support the team. Through good and bad, they've had some rough years, but in the end people really love the Islanders, they want to see them do well, they are passionate about their team.
That's why when I watch them -- I mean I cheer for the Red Wings and I cheer for the Islanders, those are my two teams I always cheer for. I want the Islanders to do well. ... I just notice the fans, you hear the young players talk about it on TV in the interviews, how loud and passionate the fans are. Nassau's one of those rinks like Joe Louis Arena: It's a legendary rink.
And that is why everyone from fans to players to staff are trying to relish this season and exit the Coliseum on a high note.