Sunday, February 15, 2009

Operation: Vancouver 2010 Quest For Gold Part II: Goalies

Countdown Vancouver 2010: Men's Hockey Tournament:
...One year & one day!

Right off the top, I'll give you my 3 picks for Team Canada's goalie's for Vancouver 2010:
Starter: Martin Brodeur
Backup: Roberto Luongo
3rd String: Steve Mason

Stevie Y's easiest decision was thought to be, at least at the beginning of this NHL season, who's between the pipes for Canada in Vancouver 2010. Injury woes for both top considerations, Brodeur and Luongo, this season though have clouded the picture. Luongo is back healthy with the Canucks, but his team has only recently seemed to have found its stride. Brodeur has just very recently been cleared to start practicing with the Devils again. Still...unless something drastic happens in their play or injuries come back to plague either of them, Brodeur and Luongo are fairly certain to be locks for Team Canada.

Steve Mason is my pick to join the dynamic duo of Brodeur and Luongo. Is he likely to see much or any ice time in Vancouver? Probably not, but this would be a great experience for the probable starting for Team Canada come 2014 in Russia (Sochi). Don't be too astonished if in the next 12 months (and 1 day), Mason makes Yzerman and staff's decision even tougher though . The rookie netminder shows poise beyond his years and leads the NHL currently in GAA, shutouts and is 4th in save percentage. He has a genuine shot at claiming stake to not only the Calder Trophy, but also the Vezina Trophy! No small task, this feat has not been achieved since Eddie "The Eagle" Belfour with the Black Hawks in the 1990-91 season. Mason also has the international experience, winning the Gold Medal at the 2008 WJC.

Honorable mentions:
  • Marty Turco: Turco will likely be first in line in the event of injuries to Brodeur or Luongo.
  • Carey Price: Too much, too fast? Heading into the season, I would've pencilled this young and talented netminder in as the 3rd string. Rough times have come upon Price over the past while this season. He'd have to have a rapid turn around before deserving consideration.
  • Mike Smith: He has been great this year behind a roster that has already used around 18 different defensemen this season.
Part III in this Team Canada preview to follow.

Keep your stick on the ice!


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