Detroit Red Wings
2015-16 Ticket Plans Available Follow @DetroitRedWings on Twitter! Follow the Red Wings on Facebook! Follow @DetroitRedWings on Instagram! Follow OfficialDRW on Snapchat! Get Red Wings Email Updates Get Red Wings Text Updates Get the Detroit Red Wings Official Mobile App
 

 
  • PRINT
  • RSS

Babcock's decided on No. 1, but who?

Thursday, 02.18.2010 / 11:30 AM ET / News
By John Dellapina
X
Share with your Friends


Babcock\'s decided on No. 1, but who?
VANCOUVER – Martin Brodeur wants the Canadian net. He wants it badly. But he doesn't want it as some sort of gold watch for long and meritorious service. He wants it because the man making the decision – coach Mike Babcock – believes Brodeur gives Team Canada its best chance to win a gold medal.

The thing is: the two notions aren't mutually exclusive. And while there might not be much to choose from among the three talented Canadian goaltenders in terms of ability and current form, past performance on the game's biggest stages is a tiebreaker that Brodeur locked up long ago.

Babcock said at a press conference following Team Canada's practice Wednesday afternoon that he has decided how he will deploy his goaltenders for the remainder of the Olympics. He also said he isn't telling.

Not yet, anyway.

So all we know for sure is that Roberto Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks, got the nod to start the Canadians' Olympic opener against Norway – at least in part, Babcock said, because he is the hometown boy – and that Brodeur starts Thursday night's second game of Group A play against Switzerland. And that Marc-Andre Fleury won't dress for the second straight game.

However, barring a very poor Brodeur performance against the Swiss – or, the unthinkable, a second straight Swiss Olympic upset over Canada four years after the 2-0 shocker in Torino – all signs point to Brodeur tending the Canadian net in Rivalry Sunday's pivotal Group play finale against the United States with the plan being to stick with him through the medal round.

All Babcock would say on the subject Wednesday was what everybody already knew.

"As far as what we've done so far, we started Luongo (against Norway in Canada's opener Tuesday afternoon) and he played very well," Babcock said. "And Brodeur is playing the next game. And that's as far as I've expressed anything to the media.
 
"I think it's very competitive. It was very competitive at the orientation camp. It was very competitive to be here. We've watched these goalies closely. And in the end, you've got to make a decision. I've done that in my own mind and we'll share that with you as time goes on."
 
At other points during his press conference, however, Babcock waxed poetic about the value of experience at times like these. He said that, from having coached Chris Chelios and Nicklas Lidstrom with the Red Wings, he has seen older players have tough stretches in the regular season and then come up big in the Stanley Cup finals. Babcock mentioned Team Canada elder statesmen Scott Niedermayer, Chris Pronger and the 37-year-old Brodeur as examples of that.
 
"At times like that, the cream comes to the top," Babcock said.
 
At another point, describing why Devils coach Jacques Lemaire is such a valuable part of Team Canada's coaching staff, Babcock said: "I think, when you get in these pressure situations, knowledge and preparation and experience defeat fear. And he has all those things."
I think it's very competitive. It was very competitive at the orientation camp. It was very competitive to be here. We've watched these goalies closely. And in the end, you've got to make a decision. I've done that in my own mind and we'll share that with you as time goes on. - Canada coach Mike Babcock

Of course, so does Brodeur.
 
He took over for a shaky Curtis Joseph in the second game of the 2002 Salt Lake City Games and led Canada to its first Olympic gold medal in 50 years. He backstopped Canada to the World Cup of Hockey title in 2004. And he was Canada's No. 1 goaltender again – he played four games, including the medal rounder while Luongo played two -- in Torino, where a promising tournament ended with a thud of a 2-0 loss to Russia in the quarterfinals.

But Brodeur wants Babcock to have judged him the best goaltender of 2010, not 2002 or 2004 or 2006.
 
"No, I don't want anything to be owed to me," Brodeur told NHL.com. "For me and for all the players to be involved, you need to earn your position. I don't think it's fair for anybody to get something just thrown out to you – 'Go ahead, it's yours.' You want to go out there every day and earn it. And that's the way I've been throughout my whole career.

"I know I'm the No. 1 in New Jersey and have been for years. But I always challenge myself to be the best every day, in practice and in games. And I think it needs to be like that. If you don't have that attitude, overconfidence could hurt you – especially in big tournaments like this."

Nerves and inexperience also can hurt teams. Which is partly why, though they've turned over much of their roster to the next generation of stars – such as Sidney Crosby – Canada also has veterans such as Niedermayer and Pronger and Brodeur. And Niedermayer, the Canadian captain, believes that Brodeur's experience should count for a lot.

"I think there's always competition, but at the same time, I think that your past, your track record … I think they should take that into consideration," Niedermayer said. "I don't think they should throw that all out.
 
"I think it should matter. That's a big part of it. How has a guy dealt with these situations? Has he had success? Those are all things that you look at that are important. But obviously, it's important that he's still playing that way and still doing those things at this time. So I think both are involved."

Niedermayer, who played the first 12 seasons of his NHL career – and won three Stanley Cups -- in front of Brodeur with the Devils, says his longtime teammate has both the past and present covered.

"Even today in practice, some of the saves that he was making, there were some oohs and aahs from the guys," Niedermayer said. "I was fortunate to be his teammate for a long time. And we did have success and he was a big reason why. I was very comfortable having him back there again today."






SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38

DetroitRedWings.com is the official Web site of the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit Red Wings and DetroitRedWings.com are trademarks of the Detroit Red Wings. NHL, the NHL Shield and the word mark NHL Winter Classic are registered trademarks and Original Six is a trademark of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Detroit Red Wings and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.
© NHL 2015. All Rights Reserved.

 
Advertise/SponsorshipsOlympia Entertainment | Code of Conduct | Privacy Policy | AdChoices | Employment | Contact Us | NHL.com Terms of Use | Site Map