Thanks to Greg Brady for posting this on Twitter tonight as I wouldn’t have seen it. Irrespective of what you think of Martin Brodeur’s play the other night, I don’t think anyone got overly personal with him. I mean everything I read was pretty respectful, noting what an incredible career he has had, stating that he absolutely had to make the Olympic team etc. This article, which I can only suspect was written by Damien Cox, there is no author attribution is way off side and one can only assume it has too much to do with Damien’s personal relationship with Brodeur. Cox on twitter took a shot at anyone criticizing Brodeur Sunday night stating that they “don’t understand the game”. This article goes beyond:
“Martin Brodeur doesn’t feel like he was lied to. Just blamed unfairly, and undoubtedly disrespected by head coach Mike Babcock.
Not only did Babcock call out Brodeur for his play in a 5-3 loss to the United States on Sunday, he then told Roberto Luongo he would be in goal for the qualification match against Germany a few hours after the game but waited to deliver the news to Brodeur, the winningest goalie in the history of the sport, until before practice on Monday.”
What’s odd about that is that there isn’t a quote from Brodeur in the piece at all!
“So it’s gold or bust with the Vancouver Canucks netminder, a sizeable risk given that outside of some fine work at the world championships the 30-year-old has never defined himself as a winner.
Now’s his chance. The last time Luongo had a chance to step forward an assert himself as Canada’s top netminder he coughed up the bit in the deciding game of last year’s playoffs for the Canucks and surrendered seven goals to the Chicago Blackhawks.”
Ok, Brodeur is your buddy, but really, is he so low that he would want someone taking shots at Luongo? I mean did Luongo do anything wrong here?
‘Babcock better be right on this or he deserves to be roasted on the spit of Canadian hockey opinion for all the unhelpful waffling he’s done on this issue.”
Wow. No, really Wow. Hypothetically speaking, Luongo pitches a shutout tomorrow, Canada doesn’t score and the German’s win 1-0 in a shootout. Should the spit we spinning because of this choice? Come on! These guys are professionals. No, Brodeur didn’t let in any Toskala’s but still, he had to know the possibility of getting replaced was real.
“For reasons he declined to explained, he then gave the opening start against Norway to Luongo.
In the next game, Brodeur’s brilliance saved Canada in the shootout against Switzerland, and Babcock praised the veteran for his play and his leadership. But after the loss to the U.S. on Sunday, Babcock identified Brodeur as the problem, saying “tonight was a night we’d have liked to have been better in that area.”
Wasn’t Babock in the wrong then for pulling Luongo in favour of Brodeur for the Switzerland game? I didn’t hear the entire Babcock session after the game, but I don’t think he threw Brodeur under the bus at all. Did he say that they would have preferred to be better in net? Yes. Isn’t that true? I mean, wouldn’t Brodeur have preferred to have been better in net? Hell Cox’s article in today’s Toronto Star sang the praise out of Ryan Miller. Wouldn’t we have preferred that it was Brodeur’s play we were all yapping about today? Ooops, I mean in the positive not the negative.
“None of this had to happen. Babcock could have announced in Calgary that it was time for the youngsters to take over and anointed Luongo and Fleury as the two goalies, with Brodeur in reserve.
Failing that, he could’ve made it clear once in Vancouver that Luongo would be the starter Again, that would have been an entirely defensible strategy.
Instead, he dithered, and in so doing has made the country’s national goaltender the lightning rod for all criticism about the team.”
Sorry, I’m not buying that. Brodeur earned his spot. Played well, or was “brilliant” in his last game vs. Switzerland. So he didn’t have a great game last night. if Babcock goes back to him and he has another off night then what? Babcock has three good alternatives. One of those guys is a future hall of famer. Babcock has the right to be undecided in net and chose to ride the hot or not goalie. If Brodeur pitched a gem last night, do you think he wouldn’t ride him going forward? How can we be surprised that given the performance last night it be so wrong or so surprising that a change is coming?
“But by making his goaltending choice a game-by-game proposition, Babcock has created great uncertainty where stability was necessary.”
I don’t know, I would rather Babcock rides his guys based upon his gut feeling. Not based on history, not based on bias, but on who he feels should be in net. Babcock needs to choose the guy who he thinks gives him the best shot at winning each game. I sense there is too much bias in this article.
The article is here