FanDuel - WFBC

February 21, 2010

Brodeur's mistakes sink Canadians: There are two elements that every hockey team in the Olympics is trying desperately to grasp. One is teamwork; when you are a collection of stars, it's hard to create a working constellation in a week. On Sunday, for long stretches, Canada did just that. But the second plank is goaltending, and last night, Canada's was shaky enough in a 5-3 loss to the United States that the whole premise of this team is suddenly in question. Martin Brodeur, when his career is done, may be the greatest goaltender of all time. Sunday night, he wasn't. As a result of that -- that and a hungrier American team -- Canada now seems to be headed for a game with Germany to reach the quarter-finals, where Russia may await. If you were paying attention in Torino, that's how the ship began to sink.

posted by tommytrump to olympics at 10:38 PM - 39 comments

Rafalski has been unstoppable the last 2 games. Maybe he can carry that over to his day job...

posted by MeatSaber at 10:55 PM on February 21

Gotta get Crosby onto the PP and Thornton off of it. And yeah, LOUIEEE for the next game.....

posted by rumple at 11:05 PM on February 21

I can't imagine the Team Canada bosses will have the balls to not stick with Brodeur.

posted by fabulon7 at 11:28 PM on February 21

Wow, that's almost like beating the English in soccer or the Germans in war.

posted by holden at 11:55 PM on February 21

holden, don't foreshadow June too much (with the English in soccer bit) (hopefully not the Germans in war bit). 'course, if we do beat England in the World Cup this summer, I'm not sure where the rift in the space-time continuum will be, but it will be somewhere.

posted by boredom_08 at 12:23 AM on February 22

I'm not sure where the rift in the space-time continuum will be

Space: Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Time: 1950

posted by owlhouse at 12:48 AM on February 22

After watching the first two periods (and thoroughly enjoying the lack of TV time-outs) the cable cut out just as the third period was about to start. Talk about bad timing. Needless to say, we made our way to Buffalo Wild Wings and their cable as soon as possible.

Fantastic game, Ryan Miller was outstanding. With the amount of pressure Team Canada put on him it took a phenomenal performance to lead USA to victory and he certainly delivered.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 01:23 AM on February 22

I think it'll be an easy call. Stick Louie in for the Germany game-if he stones them keep him for the commies, if he looks shaky it was always going to be Brodeur.

posted by rumple at 01:53 AM on February 22

Broadcasters on the Sweden-Finland match were talking about maybe even considering J.S. Giguere, although that seems the far outside shot to me.

posted by boredom_08 at 04:23 AM on February 22

The old cliche in New Jersey is that Broduer always bounces back after a bad game. Hasn't happened yet this season, but go ahead, Canada, give him a chance to redeem himself.

This is nice. For once I'm not pissed off after Marty had a bad game.

posted by MrFrisby at 05:15 AM on February 22

posted by Mr Bismarck at 07:24 AM on February 22

holden..my history book must be wrong..I thought we won WWs 1 and 2...I realize were jesting..but couldn't resist..

posted by wildbill1 at 07:26 AM on February 22

I'm not TOO worried about the result. Yes, a win against USA would have made things easier. However, they were probably going to have to beat Russia at some point to win the gold, so they might as well get it over with now.

The difference in the game was definitely the goaltending. If you swap goalies, Canada probably wins 6-3.

It looked like Brodeur was fighting the puck the entire time. They are definitely going to go with Luongo. It's like what happened in 2002. Joseph had a bad game, Canada got beat, and they switched to Brodeur.

What I would like to see if Chris Pylon...er...Pronger fall down some steps and Canada be allowed to replace him with someone else.

posted by grum@work at 08:33 AM on February 22

Hello? Marc-Andre Fleury?

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:35 AM on February 22

Don't get me started about Pronger.

posted by fabulon7 at 09:55 AM on February 22

Luongo's performance over the last month has mirrored Brodeur's in the USA game (Luongo play a major role in a 6-2 Canucks loss just prior to the tournament).

With the ~82% save percentage these guys have been achieving it seems the only solution is to hold the opponent to under 10 shots on net.

posted by cixelsyd at 10:17 AM on February 22

Hello? Marc-Andre Fleury?

I could not agree more. While as a Pens fan, I would like to see him sit and rest, he may be the best option right now. Brodeur looked slow last night and like he was a step behind. While he usually bounces back, I would think the current cup champion can handle the pressure.

posted by Debo270 at 11:29 AM on February 22

Fleury is going to be an emergency replacement only for these Olympics. They'll go with Luongo against Germany. Unless something drastic happens, Fleury is going to be a spectator only.

I can, however, tip my hat to Martin Brodeur as his international career is now finished. I thank him for 2002.

posted by grum@work at 11:40 AM on February 22

Shoulda got Cam Ward. Homeboy has been on top of his shit since coming back from an injury earlier in the season.

posted by NoMich at 11:51 AM on February 22

What a freaking game! Even the wife got excited by Miller's goaltending. As a longtime Brodeur fan, was tough to watch, but have to give the USA defense some props for keeping Crosby and the Sharks line from getting too many good chances.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:49 PM on February 22

I was looking for this game last night on the prime time Olympic broadcast but all they had was ice dancing. Rather upsetting.

posted by Joey Michaels at 02:00 PM on February 22

JM, it was on MSNBC. I bitched about it yesterday, so I won't do it again today. Channel 356 on DirecTV, if you're on cable, you're on your own.

posted by tahoemoj at 02:34 PM on February 22

It was like beating your elder sibling at something for the first time by playing as well as you can and by having your opponent a bit off his game. No matter how it happened, it is still very, very sweet. Like a younger sibling, I would be very afraid of trying this again any time soon. You know that your big brother (sister) is just waiting to get more than even.

I can't tell you how pissed off I am at NBC. MSNBC is not carried on my local cable (analog version, at least) because nobody ever watches it. Why they couldn't use USA Network (reruns) or CNBC (infomercial) is beyond me, unless it was a cynical ploy to attract viewers to MSNBC. I kept up as best I could by following Chad Finn's blog on the Boston Globe web site. Thanks, Chad.

Yesterday was indeed Miller time, as Ryan managed an act of grand theft and Bode finally struck gold in the alpine combined event.

posted by Howard_T at 04:33 PM on February 22

I have to give the US credit, they played a great game - kept Canada to the outside most of the time, didn't give up more than a couple odd man rushes and collapsed low in their own zone very well. The shots and Miller's acrobatics make it look more like a theft than I think it actually was. It's not like Canada ever had a lead. I still can't believe the US scored 4 goals though. The game was played entirely in their end.

But if Brodeur showed up, I don't think we're having the same conversation. Yes, it will be Luongo. It totally should be. Thanks Marty - you were great, but we don't have the luxury of hoping you get it back. (Now watch him single handedly win the Devils the Cup this year.)

And Chris Pronger is being EXPOSED. He could not handle the speed of the US players. God he was brutal.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 05:41 PM on February 22

It was a well earned victory for "Team" USA. Seriously, it's only 1 step in the process of Olympic Gold. These teams could easily meet again. I know it's borderline heresy for any Canadian to question anything about the future "Best Goal Tender Ever" however Team Canada probably would have been better off having Brodeur backing up Luongo from Game 1. Certainly his performance against Switzerland should have been enough to at least start the conversation, heh? I'm guessing it was a case of collective mis-assumption and lack of Brave leadership to suggest otherwise. Mike Babcock has yet to meld the considerable talent into a cohesive Team and his constant shifting of linemates for Mr.(-3 for the night) Crosby just one symptom. Going with a sentimental choice as your #1 another.

posted by skydivedad at 08:47 PM on February 22

Yeah, Babcock hasn't looked so hot. He's not being focused on, but so far I have yet to see any brilliant moves or adjustments.

And I hate that Crosby was a minus three. It just gives the haters more ammo. But Crosby was probably outside of Doughty the best player wearing red last night. Correy Perry joins Pronger, Richards, Getzlaf, Niedermayer, and Brodeur as pylons. (I am taking this way too seriously. I have to stop, but I really can't.)

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:05 PM on February 22

I love that they can blame one Canadian player for playing badly instead of just admitting that the US team played well.

posted by irunfromclones at 03:35 AM on February 23

I can't imagine the Team Canada bosses will have the balls to not stick with Brodeur.

Luongo replaces Brodeur as Canada goalie

posted by irunfromclones at 03:39 AM on February 23

I love that they can blame one Canadian player for playing badly instead of just admitting that the US team played well.

The US team played well, but the fact that Canada outshot the US by almost double (45-23), AND that there were two noticeable mistakes by Brodeur ("batter up!" and leaving the net to chase a puck he didn't have to) that led to two goals, AND Canada lost by that exact margin, it's not anti-American to suggest the difference was Brodeur's play.

Certainly his performance against Switzerland should have been enough to at least start the conversation, heh?

Actually, his performance against Switzerland during the shootout is probably what led to him starting against the US. If Canada had won it in regulation and Brodeur played badly, then they might have switched. However, he was perfect in the shootout, which implied he was still top notch.

Oops.

These teams could easily meet again.

Only in the gold medal game.
If we assume that all the higher ranked teams win on Tuesday, then that would leave as a final 8 (in order of seeding for the playoffs):

USA
Sweden
Russia
Finland
Czech Republic
Canada
Slovakia
Switzerland

Then the matchups would be:

A - USA vs Switzerland
B - Sweden vs Slovakia
C - Russia vs Canada
D - Finland vs Czech

After that, A plays D in one semi-final and B plays C in the other semi-final.

posted by grum@work at 08:25 AM on February 23

While we're on the subject, is Joe Thornton on team Canada? Because they could probably use a guy who's on pace for a 100 point season.

posted by fabulon7 at 10:33 AM on February 23

Yes, but since these are all playoff style games, his team is gonna go nowhere.

posted by NoMich at 10:57 AM on February 23

I don't pretend to be as knowledgable about hockey as the posters here at SpoFi, your love of the game is very apparent. It seems to me that the style of hockey being played in these Olympics is a purer, (for lack of a better word) and more exciting brand of hockey than I usually watch the Dallas Stars and their opponent for the night play. Nothing like a little national pride to get the blood flowing, I suppose. The relative youth of the American team may be an asset late in some of these games (I hope), but those older Russians (Federov, et al) sure skated hard in their game against The Czech Republic. And I sure ain't counting out the home team.

MSNBC is not carried on my local cable (analog version, at least) because nobody ever watches it.

Heh. I'm guessing Keith Olberman's large piehole is partially to blame.

posted by mjkredliner at 11:23 AM on February 23

It seems to me that the style of hockey being played in these Olympics is a purer, (for lack of a better word) and more exciting brand of hockey than I usually watch the Dallas Stars and their opponent for the night play.

What you are seeing here, mjk, is something akin to the game as it was played in the days of the "original 6", without a lot of the hard contact. The reason is that these are "select" teams, only 12, drawn from a talent pool that feeds 30 NHL teams. Add to this that some countries do not have a lot of NHLers, so USA and Canada get almost all of the top guys. Since the individual skill level is so high, you will see a lot more excellent team play. The teams no longer have to play a trapping defense or "dump-and-chase" offense to cover up for the less skilled players in their lineup. This style of play is what got me hooked on the sport when I was about 9 or 10, and I haven't lost any love for it.

posted by Howard_T at 02:38 PM on February 23

Yes, but since these are all playoff style games, his team is gonna go nowhere.

I love it.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 02:58 PM on February 23

The reason is that these are "select" teams, only 12, drawn from a talent pool that feeds 30 NHL teams.

Usually it's asserted the play is a result of the larger ice surfaces making a contact style harder to play. Or is this a regulation NHL ice?

posted by yerfatma at 03:24 PM on February 23

is this a regulation NHL ice?

It is indeed. Sadly so, as part of the reason many like Olympic hockey so much is that it is played on bigger ice. Maybe that's why team Canada thought Pronger's oversized ass would be a quality addition, while Phaneuf watches, presumably with incredulity.

posted by tahoemoj at 03:46 PM on February 23

USA and Canada get almost all of the top guys

Not to pick nits (ok maybe a little) but there's more NHL all-stars on the teams from Sweden and Russia than team USA.

posted by tahoemoj at 03:59 PM on February 23

Not to pick further nits, but can't Sweden ever get any damn respect? They're only the defending champs.

I pray that the Grand Ol' Hockey Gods (Syl Apps, Eddie Shore and so forth) set it up so that Canada can win gold by defeating Russia, Sweden and then the US all in a row. That would be freaking sweet.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 06:39 PM on February 23

TOE BLAKE!

posted by yerfatma at 09:29 PM on February 23

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