The sky is falling today in Canada after the men’s team lost to the USA in the final round robin game of the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. It’s bad enough that Canada finished sixth in the preliminary standings. It’s worse that the quarter final opponent will now be Russia. It’s apocalyptic that Martin Brodeur lost the game. Just about every goalie debate pre-Olympics dictated that Brodeur was the starter, Roberto Luongo the backup and Marc-Andre Fleury the third man out. But today Twitter is abuzz with condemnation of Brodeur.
Luongo was the respectful backup in Torino but now a nation looks to him for hockey redemption.
You can’t tell the players without a program! For some countries competing in the Olympic hockey tournament this will quite literally be true. So here it is, your viewing guide to Olympic goalies, 2010 edition. Listed by groups because, let’s face it, once group play is done you won’t hear about some of these teams/players for another four years.
Canada: It is often said that Canada could send a “B” team to the Olympics and have it compete for a medal. That would certainly be true from a goaltending perspective as the talent pool is deep. Martin Brodeur (New Jersey NHL) is having a record breaking season and has his Devils on top of the standings, so given his past Olympic credentials and success it’s almost impossible to put anyone else in the number one spot. Roberto Luongo (Vancouver NHL) and Marc-Andre Fleury (Pittsburgh NHL) should both get a chance to play a round-robin game but one of them would have to steal a win and Brodeur would have to play horribly to see anyone but Marty starting the quarter-final match. Continue reading
Tenders Lounge is taking an early look at the potential goalie lineups for the 2010 Winter Olympic hockey tournament in Vancouver. The first segment of the series reviewed Team Canada, a team that many assumed had their two goalies lined up but after some playoff surprises could be making some changes. This segment looks at Team USA who, for a refreshing change, will be looking anywhere but the crease for potential weaknesses to correct.
Tim Thomas is a lock for one of the two spots on Team USA and gives them the type of goaltending that can steal a game from Canada or Russia. Playing on NHL-sized ice will help Thomas, who's style is rarely as quiet as this reflective moment.
Steve Yzerman recently attended the World Championships in Switzerland to scout for the 2010 Olympics. With that in mind, and after some surprise performances in the first two rounds of the playoffs, the time has come to begin the goalie watch for the Games. The Canadian home ice advantage, the use of an NHL-sized ice surface and the league’s unwillingness to commit to the 2014 games in Sochi, Russia are laying the groundwork for what could be the best hockey tournament of all time. So it’s only fitting to expect the best display of goaltending. Most countries will hold summer camps and then evaluate the first half of next season before will making their final decisions but we say let the armchair quarterbacking begin! The top contenders for the gold medal will each need to make some potentially difficult decisions so Tenders Lounge will dedicate separate posts to the medal contenders. First up, the home team Canadians.
Not only are does Team Canada face the pressure of being the host country but they also need to remove the bitter taste from a 7th place finish at the 2006 Torino games.
Luongo and Brodeur were expected to reprise their roles from Torino. Will anyone push them out of the picture?