Coast to Coast: Detroit Red Wings prospect Sebastian Cossa doesn't back down

Watching Detroit Red Wings goaltending prospect turn the tide in his development is music to my ears and should be to yours too. Here's why.
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At times, I see shades of some of my favorite goaltenders the Detroit Red Wings have iced in the last few years. 

First, I see a goaltender who views himself as a teammate, not someone who is separate from his team. Like Alex Nedeljkovic, Cossa wants to get involved in plays and, at times, is one of the best players at breaking pucks out of the defensive zone for the Grand Rapids Griffins. He makes hard, accurate, tape-to-tape passes to his teammates as far as the neutral zone. This guy loves making life hard on his opponents with poke checks or little plays that can go unnoticed unless someone’s paying close attention.

Second, Cossa doesn’t seem to get too down on himself, like Alex Lyon’s mental toughness. Whether it’s individual or team play that caused a flukey goal or an off-game, Cossa seems to regroup much better than in seasons past. This aspect, along with his five-hole, seems to have improved the most in his time with Koistinen.

Third, and my favorite Cossa characteristic is his attitude, which reminds me of Petr Mrazek at times. Although a complete gentleman off the ice (one of the most affable players with fans), Cossa turns into a Mr. Hyde on the ice and has to be one of the worst guys to play against. He backs down from no one and nothing. While this theory hasn’t been tested (as far as I’m aware), I think it will take more than one punch to knock Cossa out, unlike Mrazek, which is an added bonus in my book.

Of course, Cossa is his own player. He’s a unique blend of size, athleticism, and now confidence with a more closed five-hole!

As a goaltender, that’s all I can ever ask for, but if he can steal you a few games, he’s even better. I can’t tell you the last game that Cossa backstopped that got out of hand. Seemingly, the Grand Rapids Griffins have a chance every time he’s in the net. Even when Cossa or the team is not at their best, they still have a chance to get back in the game. As a goaltender, that’s all I can ever ask for, but if he can steal you a few games, then he’s even better. 

When I watch Cossa play, sometimes I joke that he’s going Coast to Coast, just like the radio show I listened to growing up, as he flies between the posts. (Somehow, post-to-post transformed into Coast-to-Coast in my mind, bringing me right back to my childhood).

Flying not only in between the pipes, Cossa seemingly does so all over the ice as he always skates with purpose. Although he can stray from the net and sometimes gets caught (these times are few and far between), his surprisingly quick skating brings him back to his net, and his wicked athleticism stops pucks, which he never should have had a chance at stopping. Seriously though, I’ve never seen a goaltender skate as well as Cossa does.

Cossa’s compete is up there with Moritz Seider, Dylan Larkin, and Lucas Raymond. He wants to beat his opponent and is as hungry for a win as any other player on the ice. Ruthless in any conceivable way and can smack talk with the best of them. Though, I’m not sure if this happens as often anymore as Cossa has matured a bit. (But maybe he does, and I miss it).

Cossa is even competitive in live jersey auctions after the game. While other players awkwardly stood there, Cossa actively engaged the crowd to earn the highest sale of the night, where his jersey sold for over $1,000.

Wallstedt may be a fantastic goalie for the Minnesota Wild in the near future. Truly, I’m rooting for the guy, especially if he stays in the other division of the NHL.

However, Cossa is making a name for himself and proving to Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman, assistant general manager and director of amateur scouting Kris Draper, and my cousin that their idea wasn’t so crazy after all.

Cossa might be one of the best young players that the Detroit Red Wings have in their system. With the likes of Raymond, Simon Edvinsson, Seider, and Axel Sandin-Pellikka, it’s saying a lot. It’s a treat watching him develop before our eyes.