One of the biggest concerns for the average Canada hockey fan when it comes to our men’s Olympic team has to be goaltending. With what will be a stacked line up in pretty much every other, the guys between the pipes seem to be taking the brunt of the nations criticism, but why? Canada’s options are full of question marks.

The days of the sturdy Martin Brodeur (the younger one), Patrick Roy, and even Curtis Joseph are long gone, leaving in their wake a group of talented if unproven puck stoppers.  Executive director of the 2014 edition of team Canada Steve Yzerman won’t have an easy time deciding which three goaltenders will fill out the roster. With results varying on a day-to-day basis, fans, pundits and bloggers are getting reactionary when it comes to the Olympic status of their favourite players.

Sochi is creeping closer in a sort of where did the time go speedy kind of way and decision time is almost upon us.  Back in February we made some predictions about the entire roster and here is what we came up with between the pipes:

Roberto Luongo

Carey Price

Martin Brodeur

Now almost a year in hockey time later we sit around and find ourselves talking, rather arguing about who the three some should be.  I find my self looking at the three names above and being pretty happy, I mean it would be great to have “Roy” in his prime to suite up but lacking that this group ain’t half bad.

Here is a repeat of the analysis of these selections in the aforementioned article.

This proves to be the most highly debated position in this conversation.  The 2010 Vancouver Olympics saw a passing of the torch if you will, from incumbant Martin Brodeur to Roberto Luongo.  This will undoubtedly be Brodeur’s final Olympics, his years of service have earned him the right to be included as the third goaltending option who can also provide leadership for the entire team.  If Luongo can maintain his recent play Canada will be pleasantly surprised with the results, his 2010 experience also plays into his selection as the starter.  Carey Price provides a solid second option who can be turned to at any point in the tournament without any fear of a drop in talent between the pipes.

Now I am non committal about the order, and who should get the bulk of the work but I do still think Brodeur deserves the cheerleader third spot, his experience is unmatched.  Luongo and Price are for the most part equals and who ever has the “hot hand” should get the opening tourney start.

With out a doubt Mike Smith of the Phoenix Coyotes will get some real consideration to join Team Canada, and on most list’s he is ahead of Brodeur in the predictions.  A real question though remains surrounding Smith, is he an elite player or a product of the Coyotes system? (Exhibit A: Ilya Bryzgalov) Hard to say, but he’s done everything he can to lockdown one of the three goalie spots.

Blackhawk Corey Crawford, is the only real other option (aka. honourable mention) With a Cup on his resumé, an 11-2-3 record, a .917 save percentage and 2.22 GAA entering Friday’s play, the 28-year-old is quickly developing into a top-of-the-line goaltender

Come on Sochi, lets get these Olympics going already.

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