After Team Canada's lost yesterday to the USA, rumors started swirling as to who should start in net for their next game against Germany. This seems very surprising considering the level of talent Martin Brodeur possesses.
Luckily for the Canadians they have two great backups in Marc-Andre Fleury and Roberto Luongo. Given this fact, it might not be so much of a surprise to see Brodeur sitting on the bench against Germany.
This is it for Canada. If they lose, they are out of the tournament, and you can imagine how big of an embarrassment that would be especially with the Olympics being on home soil.
The question, then, is who exactly should start against Germany?
First let's look at the guy that a lot of people are upset with right now. Brodeur played one of his worst games last night against the Americans. Brodeur gave up four goals on 22 shots, with two goals coming in the first period off just six shots.
At times he appeared lost out on the ice as he was playing very far outside of his crease. To cut him some slack, though, a couple of the American's goals were off of deflections (I doubt many other people want to cut him any slack at all, though).
This is Brodeur's fourth go-around at the Olympics and the third time that he has been the starter for Team Canada. His experience alone is a huge factor in why he should be the starting goalie against Germany. In 2002 he led Canada to a gold medal after finishing with the best GAA for the tournament.
Brodeur is 37-years-old and has lost a bit off his game, but still, is there any other goalie you want playing for you when you are in a win-or-go-home situation?
I don't think so.
Roberto Luongo is next in line for Canada, and has already played one game in the tournament. Luongo got the start in Canada's opening round game against Norway and posted a shutout in an 8-0 rout. His shutout might be a bit deceiving though, as he faced only 15 shots and not many really good scoring chances.
Luongo has appeared in just one other Olympics for Team Canada. In 2006 he was the backup to Brodeur and played in two games, in which he went 1-1. Luongo's lack of Olympic play may be the reason why he doesn't end up getting the start against Germany.
Experience is usually key at the Olympics, and you don't want a goalie who might crack under the pressure in such a big game. However, Luongo has proven time and again to be one of the best goalies in the NHL today.
Fleury is the final (and youngest) goalie for Team Canada. Fleury is playing in his first Winter Olympics ever. His only other experience with Team Canada came during the World Junior Championships in 2003 and 2004. During the 2003 World Junior Championships, he was named tournament MVP after posting a 1.57 GAA.
Not many people expected Fleury to get a chance to play in the Olympics this year, but his time might just come against Germany. Fleury has no experience whatsoever at the Olympics and that could keep Canada from starting him. But, Fleury did help the Pittsburgh Penguins win the Stanley Cup last year, which should have boosted his confidence when it comes to big game situations.
So after all that, who is going to get the start against Germany?
Right now, my money is on Luongo. Brodeur might have been the go-to man for Canada in year's past, but his performance against the Americans might have just convinced coach Mike Babcock to start someone else.
Luongo might not have the experience Brodeur has, but he already has the shutout against Norway and Germany has scored just three total goals in their three games at this year's Olympics. Luongo is also seven years younger than Brodeur and can move better in the crease.
Even if Luongo has a bad game, the Canadians should win regardless. They are clearly the better team versus Germany in pretty much every facet of the game. It will give them a chance to decide whether they want to start Luongo again in their next game, assuming they win, or if they would be better off going back to Brodeur or trying out Fleury.
Feel free to voice your opinion down below about who you feel should be the starter for Canada against Germany.