Should History Lead Babcock Back To Brodeur

Lots of fascinating banter this morning about whether or not Mike Babcock should make a switch in net for team Canada’s next game. Here is, in my opinion anyway the most interesting comment and the one that I think leads to the most debate:

“Personally, I wouldn’t make the switch and I don’t think Babcock will change goalies either. Let’s not forget that Brodeur is perhaps the greatest goalie in NHL history, with Stanley Cup championship rings and an Olympic gold medal on his resume. He is only three days removed from making four big shootout stops against the Swiss to preserve a game that the Canadians almost lost. I would be loyal to Brodeur, based on his history.”

That from one of my favourite hockey writers, Kevin Allen from USA Today.

So, what does Babcock do? His decision will be analyzed for a very long time. Personally, I am not a big fan of history. i think history gets you a spot on the team. Performance is all that counts. If Babock thinks that Brodeur is the better goalie and most likely to deliver when counted on then he should go with him. I don’t think history should have anything to do with it.

Allen finishes his article in similar fashion “If Babcock chooses to stay with Brodeur, it will because he’s the best option and not because he won the gold in 2002.”

What say you?

Kevin Allen is here

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February 22, 2010 11:18 am

True, Brodeur did make 4 shutout stops in the Swiss game. But I’d also consider the first goal he gave up in that game pretty weak. It was a nice shot but really shouldn’t have beaten him from that angle. And in the US game he played just horrible. He’s one of the best goalies of all-time but hans’t played like it this season. You don’t see Russia starting Tretiak over Nabokov just because he used to be good. If you want to look at history as a reason to play one of your goalies, it would be Fleury in net. The past two seasons he’s played amazing during the playoffs and has come through huge in game 7s. You should be looking at recent history, not just history in general. Maybe 4 or 5 years ago I’d go with Brodeur, but his play has dropped off quite a bit the past couple of seasons. He still has some great games but has become far more inconsistent. You can’t risk inconsistency when you’re down to knock-out games.

Garrett Bauman
February 22, 2010 11:48 am

I like Allen but his argument is somewhat paradoxical in this one:

In the first quote, he suggests that BECAUSE of history, Babcock WILL LIKELY stick with him.

But in the second quote he says that IF Babcock takes him, it WON’T be because of history.

Seems like he’s trying to have it both ways. To steal from Orwell, I would say history is bunk. You pick the goaltender based on performance, always.

Remember Varlamov replacing Theodore in last season’s playoffs? Or Giguere a couple years ago being replaced by Hiller, despite having won the Stanley Cup only a season and a half earlier?

Bottom line: if picking by performance, and Brodeur’s performance was terrible … logically … next step is the guy who has been the supposed future of Hockey Canada for several years. Let’s see what he can do.

February 22, 2010 12:42 pm

You are so lost it isnt even funny!
Goaltending or should I say lack of lost the game last night open yopur eyes!
Brodeurs best days are behind,no disrespect to him but the best goaly was not played last night and if he is started again and plays like he did last night it will be the worst case of coaching in Canadian history.
The game was played well shots on goal tell the truth.
This was a result of very amateur like goaltending.
Someone needs to remind Brodeur that this is not baseball!

If Brodeur is started against Germany,Babcock should be found guilty of treson,end of story.

February 22, 2010 3:20 pm

This isn’t a typical NHL team where there is a big gap between the #1 and #2. I am a Brodeur supporter/fan; however, he didn’t make me overly comfortable last night. You have another #1 as an option – go with Luongo (or Fleury for that matter).

February 22, 2010 6:01 pm

I have to disagree with some previous comments.

1. Brodeur played a really good game against the swiss, not a fantastic game, but it was not a bad game.

2. Yes, yesterday was a bad game, he let in 2 bad goals, another goal he panicked after blatently being interfered with, (watch the replay, backes did not get pushed into him).

3. Brodeur is still pretty high up in his game, his best season of all time was… 3 years ago. and oh look, this year he’s on pace to have one of his top 3-5 seasons in his career (with a much much weaker team in front of him), so I don’t know how you guys can say he was not the best choice for the usa game. The only reason I would have possibly considered Lu over him for the USA game is because the big NJD players pretty much all play for team USA and know what Brodeur is like.

4. I fully expect Luongo to start and shutout the german team. But I would respect Babcock tremendously if he started Brodeur against Germany. Because that would give Brodeur a record, a chance to redeem himself after a bad game in a game that team canada will win no matter who is in net. If Brodeur doesn’t get a shutout or looks at all like he did in the first period of the USA game, then take him out, and run Luongo in hopes that we make it with him.

February 23, 2010 12:19 pm

Thank the hockey gods histrory will not be repeated!
however I believe history will be made, but just not with Brodeur. Tonight the world will see as Luoongo saves us from the icehole in which Brodeur dug. Please dont get me wrong Brodeur is a fine net minder, however the Olympics isnt the place for egos such as his, the want to redeam himself. It is unsportsman for him to not be doing interviews at this time.
Had Luongo been started in all three games we would be sitting in a much different position today.
Brodeur has been a fish out of water without his regular team mates in front of him.
Line up any of todays top players and allow them twenty shots on both Luongo and Brodeur and Luongo would win every time.
we do have a very good chace now at redemtion!

February 23, 2010 2:30 pm

Wow that last comment is just typical. A very, how do I say this, uninformed position you have there with the only thing you think is what the media makes you think.

Luongo’s lower stats this season, with a much better team in front of him would put down different results than you are saying.

Tonight won’t prove anything, it is against germnay, we could pull patrick roy out of retirement not even give him time to practice at all, put a blindfold on him, give him 1934 style goalie pads and we would still win this game. It’s freakin germany…
February 23, 2010 8:48 pm

Hey Paul

You can call me uninformed you can say what you will and by the sounds of it you think Brodeur should still be in goal?
I didnt say that today proves anything, what I did say is we have a chance now with Luongo and even a no it all like yourself should be able to see the failings of Broduer.
See what Im saying Paul ya jackass!
ALSO on any given day without a team in front of Luongo and Broduer L
February 23, 2010 8:52 pm

As I was saying before it sent on me

Luongo would beat him all day long ,see what Im saying paul, notice the small font in the spelling of your name. Do you no why paul? because you are small in thought!!

February 24, 2010 1:56 am

Yes, you did say tonight would show the world that Luongo is a saviour or something like that. I would agree with putting Luongo in against Germany, I unfortunately did not get to see the game but I will be watching the replay of it. But from the sounds of it, Luongo did not have a very good game against the arguably worst team in this tournament. But I don’t want to come to conclusions before I watch the game.

By the way I follow both goalies religiously in the nhl as the Canucks are my favourite team (and I really like Luongo) and Brodeur is my favourite goalie. It is pretty clear that Brodeur is still consistently better than Luongo year by year, through numbers and play. Maybe it’ll be different next year, but this year, Brodeur is the only real reason that the New Jersey Devils are so high in the standings. And Luongo is not the reason the Canucks are up there, That credit goes to the Sedins.

I will post again once I see the replay of the game against lolgermany (no offence to Germans, I have 2 good friends from Berlin) 🙂

I also enjoy when you attack me personally only based on an informed view/opinion that goes against your opinion.

February 24, 2010 3:06 am

So they are not playing the Replay, but I got to watch highlights, It looks like he did fairly well, but not as well as Brodeur against the Swiss.

I am still worried, Luongo has yet to play a good team. I will look forward to seeing him against Russia, even though I would feel more comfortable with Brodeur playing after some rest and time to study.

But it’s up to the team now, they need to score! Because they have a hard time doing that against proper teams.

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