Arguably the most important position is hockey is the one between the pipes. It doesn’t matter if you’re a rebuilding team or a squad ready to compete for the Stanley Cup, if you don’t have the correct goalie between the pipes, your team is going nowhere fast.
Team Canada has three elite netminders for the World Cup of Hockey. Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens, Braden Holtby who plays for the Washington Capitals and Corey Crawford of the Chicago Blackhawks. All have elite pedigrees and multiple awards to their name and having all that talent certainly creates a good problem for the coaching staff.
If you’d like to check out the breakdowns of Team Canada’s forwards and defensemen, click the links below.
Arguably the best goalie in the entire world, Carey Price has had a bit of a rough go the last few months. It started with the All-Star goaltender injuring his medial collateral ligament in his right knee in a game this past November. Through a series of frustrating setbacks, Price was eventually put on the shelf for the entire rest of the season.
It was a huge blow for the Montreal Canadiens, who fell out of playoff contention without their star between the pipes. Price would be tabbed as the starter for Team Canada in their first World Cup exhibition game against the United States. It was the first taste of game action for Price since last November 25th.
Price allowed three goals in the game and had a few shaky moments. A couple notable moments involved Price not hugging his post tight enough on certain plays and giving up a few juicy rebounds to the hungry American shooters. Price looked a little bit pensive, but that is to be expected.
He was shaking off the rust of being on the shelf so long, and Team Canada is hoping he will recapture the form that made him the Hart trophy winner in 2014-15.
The Saskatchewan native has been one of the best and most consistent goaltenders the last few seasons. He’s been an absolute beast for the Washington Capitals, who turn to him in any and all situations. This past year was a banner year for the young Capital as he led his team to the Presidents Trophy with a record of 48-9-7 and a 2.20 goals-against average with a stellar .922 save percentage.
He also collected three shutouts in the 66 games he played. At the end of the year, it came as no surprise that Holtby won his first Vezina Trophy as the league’s best goaltender. If Price falters for whatever reason, Holtby is more than capable of taking up the mantle and leading Canada.
Managing Team Canada certainly has its perks. You get a glut of talented players, with many of them having championship experience on their extensive resumes. That’s where the final Canadian goaltender comes in.
Corey Crawford has three Stanley Cups to his name. The first was in 2009-10 season, where he was a backup on the roster. The latest two Cups he won as a starter, leading the Blackhawks and making key saves the entire playoffs.
For Crawford, making Canada’s roster was something special. He did not participate on Team Canada in the 2014 Olympics and was also snubbed from this season’s All-Star game. Despite the Stanley Cups, it seems that Crawford doesn’t get the same recognition as other goaltenders in the NHL.
Team Canada is lucky to have Crawford. He’s a steady, veteran presence who knows how to win. Having that big game experience can only be a boon to the Canadian squad and to Crawford himself.