by PuckStopsHere on 02/14/14 at 10:00 PM ET
Canada has a recent history of a younger goalie taking over from a veteran starter in the Olympics. In 2002, Martin Brodeur took over for Curtis Joseph during Canada's gold medal run. In 2010, Roberto Luongo took over for Martin Brodeur in Canada's gold medal run. To complete the pattern, it was expected that Carey Price would take over for Roberto Luongo in the 2014 Olympics.
In Canada's first game of the Olympics, Price was chose to play against Norway. He didn't get challenged much but he did let in a bad goal when he got caught out of the net. Luongo was given game two against Austria. He played quite well and got a shutout. Based on those two games alone, Luongo deserves the chance to be Canada's number one goalie. Will he be given the start against Finland?
Luongo has wrongly been called a big game choker. It is true that he didn't give a strong performance in the 2010 Stanley Cup finals, but it would be silly to use a week of his life to define his career instead of the rest of his career. He has some outstanding seasons both in Florida and in Vancouver. Most of his teams were not Stanley Cup champion calibre (in Florida they were not good enough to make playoffs). Luongo has been successful in winning the Olympic gold medal, the World Hockey Championships and the World Junior Championships.
Price has never won the Stanley Cup either. His Montreal Canadiens have never been a serious candidate. He too has had World Junior Championship success.
It is probably true that Price is now a slightly better goalie than Luongo, as Luongo is starting into the decline phase of his career, but he doesn't seem ready to give up the number one goaltending job in the 2014 Olympics. After the first two game auditions, he looks like the better goalie choice going forward. What will things look like after the Finland game? If Luongo plays a strong Olympics, it would go a long way toward securing his legacy as one of the best goalies of all time, even if he doesn't ever win a Stanley Cup.
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