When it comes to the 2014 Olympics, Canada's forwards and defensemen will be among the best (if not the best) groups in the entire tournament. They're so deep up front and on the blue line that their B team could probably be a favorite for a medal.
Goaltending, however, could be a different story as several teams (including the United States, Sweden and Finland) will be able to match up quite well with what Canada has to offer. In a short tournament that can be a pretty big advantage.
Sportsnet's John Shannon reports Canada is going to start sending out invites for its pre-Olympic camp on Monday, with goalie being one of the biggest question marks for general manager Steve Yzerman and coach Mike Babcock. The camp will take place in late August in Calgary. According to the report, Shannon is hearing Canada's goalie invites for the camp will be Roberto Luongo, Carey Price, Mike Smith, Braden Holtby, and Corey Crawford.
Luongo, the starter for the Vancouver Canucks, should be the early favorite to secure the No. 1 job, not only for his play at the NHL level, but also because he took over for Martin Brodeur during the 2010 games in Vancouver and helped Canada capture the gold medal. That leaves the other two spots up for grabs.
Perhaps the most surprising name on that list is Holtby, the starting goaltender for the Washington Capitals. His NHL numbers to date have been very strong, but he's only appeared in 78 games (regular season and postseason) at the NHL level.
As for the names not on that list, Brodeur, Marc-Andre Fleury, Cam Ward and James Reimer are some of the biggest goalies who, according to the report, won't be getting an invite. Brodeur has been a shell of his former self in recent years and lost his No. 1 job on team Canada during the last Olympics. Fleury was Canada's No. 3 goalie in 2010 but his stock has dropped like a rock over the past year on the heels of another disappointing postseason performance for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The one player on the list who seems like he probably should have received an invite is Ward. He wouldn't be a lock to make the roster, but his play over the past four to five years seems to at the very least be on par with players like Smith, Holbty and Crawford.