When it comes to goaltending at the Olympics, few in hockey would have the perspective of New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur. The elder statesman among NHL netminders has represented Canada at three Winter Olympics, most recently at Vancouver in 2010. So when asked who he thought should be Canada's starter at the 2014 Games, he shared his opinion with Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record:
Asked Martin Brodeur about Canadian Olympic team and he said again that he believes the No. 1 goalie job should be Roberto Longo's to lose.— Tom Gulitti (@TGfireandice) January 3, 2014
Brodeur on Luongo: "I think when you win the gold medal, you deserve the chance to defend it until someone takes you down."— Tom Gulitti (@TGfireandice) January 3, 2014
So if Marty has the choice, he's picking Vancouver Canucks' goaltender Roberto Luongo . He also noted that Canadiens netminder Carey Price is pushing for the job. Brodeur saw his role reversed with Luongo as he split the net with him at each of the last two Olympics in 2006 and 2010.
It's an interesting theory about granting the net to the defending gold medalist, but four years between tournaments is a long time. Luongo's experience is absolutely relevant, but Price is playing pretty solid hockey.
Interestingly enough, Luongo's two games from the 2006 Olympics may be just as relevant in the process as anything else. Neither he, nor Price have played on the wider ice surface in a long time. Price's last international experience came seven years ago at the World Junior Championship, when he backstopped Canada to gold.
The goaltenders are often the players that have the hardest time adjusting to the bigger ice surface due to the angles being different when the boards are further away. Since neither have been on the big sheet for a while, their NHL work is essentially what is worth going off of when determining who should start.
Both have put up similar numbers, with Price having the edge currently if you're just going off of this season. Canada will have a tough decision when it comes to the guy who starts and at least we know where Brodeur, one of their most decorated Olympic goaltenders in history, stands on the choice to make.