The Canucks head out on an Eastern road trip and their first stop is going to be in the Devils’ den against Martin Brodeur. A lot of people think, myself included, that that game is going to be a really good indicator of where both goalies are at, and also which is the better goalie. The debate over who is starter is starting to heat up, in part because of the Olympics nearing but also because this game is going to showcase two of the best goaltenders in the league auditioning for the starting role at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.
When looking at the two goaltenders it’s hard to say who I would choose. My heart lies with Luongo, but the numbers don’t lie and unfortunately Luongo’s haunted by the fact that he isn’t able to win the big games. Case and point that painful series against Chicago. The fact that Brodeur has broken records that were at one point untouchable speaks volumes about his play. He’s the all time wins leader, he’s about to be the all time career shutout leader, and just the other night he broke the record for most minutes played by a goaltender in his career. He’s one of the most decorated goaltenders of all time accomplishing everything from Stanley Cups to Olympic Gold Medals. He’s been there before and he knows what it takes.
The question of age comes to mind next. While Luongo is 7 years younger than Brodeur, Brodeur has played in 3 Olympic games already and with the pressure on this Canadian National team to win it all, the question then becomes one of whether Luongo can handle the pressure or not. In the few big pressure games Luongo’s faced, he’s come up on the short side and the Olympic games isn’t a time to take a gut check. There’s so much more that factors into this debate, but for now let’s let the goalies do the talking and see what happens come puck drop tomorrow.
The Canucks game against the Devils is going to be an excellent indicator of where both goalies are at. You can be sure that those in charge of picking the Olympic team are going to pay close attention to the game, I for one just hope that the game doesn’t turn out to be a 0-0 affair.