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Tuesday, April 6, 2004
Updated: April 21, 2:42 PM ET
In the crease: Osgood & Nabokov

By Darren Pang

Chris Osgood
St. Louis Blues
Evgeni Nabokov
San Jose Sharks
He beats you... with experience. He has the most in the West, and this will bode well with Patrick Roy and Dominik Hasek out of the picture. He played great down the stretch when they needed him most, and his stance and positioning was tight and compact, leaving few holes. He is strong at playing the puck, so the dump-ins have to be right. He has a good glove hand when he lets the puck come to him.

You can beat him... when he loses patience on the puck. He has a tendency to wave at the puck and fan open his stick, but has worked hard at that part of his game.
He beats you... with his great patience and positioning in the net. His stance is perfect, so off the wing the shooter will have very little room as he will always be on top of his crease. He has quick legs, and will go down to the butterfly to take away low shots. He can go the distance in a series because he doesn't get too high, nor does he get too down after a bad goal. He is intelligent when it comes to playing the puck, not overly aggressive.

You can beat him... by getting him moving across the crease, opening up the legs. You will have to have players going hard to the posts, digging for tips and rebounds.

Darren Pang, a former goaltender with the Chicago Blackhawks, is a hockey analyst for ESPN.