Canada has what it takes, but be­ware of hot goalie(s)

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS - BY ROBIN SHORT

in­tro­duc­tory Olympic news con­fer­ence last Sun­day. But, he quickly noted, that’s usu­ally in a se­v­engame se­ries, like the Stan­ley Cup fi­nal.

But some­thing like the Olympic Games, where even a sin­gle loss in the medal round dashes hopes for gold?

A hot goalie here, missed scor­ing chance there. A bad call. Did we men­tion hot goalie?

In 2006, Lowe watched as Martin Ger­ber — Martin Ger­ber! — made 49 saves as Switzer­land shut out the Cana­di­ans 2-0.

“ You’re in the game and you think: ‘Geez, is this hap­pen­ing?’” Lowe was say­ing prior to Thurs­day’s game, a re­match with the Swiss, re­call­ing the shutout loss four years ago.

“It wasn’t so much just that we lost, but we couldn’t score a goal. One game, one goalie. It was un­be­liev­able.”

Thurs­day night, the Swiss nearly made cheese of Canada again, save for Sid­ney Crosby’s shootout goal on the sec­ond go-round.

The tally sent this red and white­clad town into a frenzy, thou­sands of Cros­bys and Luon­gos in their No. 87 and No. 1 hockey duds whoop­ing it up into the Van­cou­ver night.

We might want to hang on a minute here, folks.

Af­ter watch­ing Ger­ber, and now Jonas Hiller, ef­fec­tively stone Cana­dian shoot­ers, do we now know a gold medal — or even a sil­ver — is any­thing but a birthright for Canada, but rather a sim­ple case of be­ing real good and real lucky?

Hiller, who made for­mer Conn Smythe win­ner Jean-Se­bastien Giguere ex­pend­able in Ana­heim, faced 47 shots, 18 alone in the third pe­riod.

In our haste to anoint the Cana­dian men the best hockey team on the planet, we for­get there are some very, very good hockey play­ers in this tour­na­ment.

Among them some very, very good goalies.

Yes, on pa­per the Cana­di­ans should win. They’ve got the deep­est ros­ter one through 20, and a darn good puck­stop­per to boot in Martin Brodeur.

Thing is, To­mas Vok­oun’s not bad. And nei­ther is Nik­las Back­strom. Ev­geni Nabokov is very good when he’s hot.

To­mor­row night, the Cana­di­ans face Ryan Miller, cer­tainly one of the top three in the NHL this sea- son.

Point is while Canada may boast a bet­ter over­all team — Brodeur in­cluded — than the oth­ers, the goalies the Cana­di­ans will meet in this tour­na­ment are all ca­pa­ble of ston­ing Crosby, Nash, Iginla et al on any given night.

And you know each and ev­ery one of them are jacked that much more for each date with Canada.

So at the risk of be­ing un­cov­ered as a Cana­dian team apol­o­gist, we must keep in mind noth­ing is guar­an­teed in a short tour­na­ment.

Re­ally, who’d who thought Switzer­land would be such an in­ter­na­tional headache for Canada?

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