Armstrong: Canada's goalie situation less concrete than competitors'
Team Canada architect Doug Armstrong knows goaltending is his club's biggest question mark heading into the 2022 Olympics in Beijing.
With a plethora of high-end talent up front and on the blue line, Armstrong admitted choosing Canada's No. 1 netminder will be a prominent challenge in determining the final roster.
"It's fluid," Armstrong told The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun on Thursday. "All the guys on the list have played some spectacular games and also played, you know, some games that were more normal. I think Hockey Canada has had one or two goalies that were in the top five in the league year in and year out for a couple of decades or longer.
"Right now, yeah, it's a situation where we're certainly not as concrete as Russia, would be, for example. There's certain countries that are very concrete in their goaltending, and we're not one of them."
Canada won gold in each of the past two Olympics that NHLers were able to attend. Martin Brodeur and Roberto Luongo anchored the crease in 2010, followed by Carey Price and Luongo in 2014.
Six netminders made the club's long list for these Olympics, according to LeBrun. Here are their 2021-22 stats.
|Carey Price (MTL)||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Marc-Andre Fleury (CHI)||5-8-1||.912||-0.3|
|Jordan Binnington (STL)||7-5-2||.914||0.5|
|Darcy Kuemper (COL)||9-4-0||.905||-3.1|
|Carter Hart (PHI)||5-4-3||.928||6.3|
|Mackenzie Blackwood (NJD)||3-1-2||.922||2.1|
Price hasn't played this season after voluntarily entering the NHL's player assistance program in October. The 34-year-old has a spotless international record including gold at the world juniors (2007), Olympics (2014), and World Cup (2016). In Sochi, Price posted a remarkable .972 save percentage and 0.59 goals against average across five contests.
Competing countries are set to announce their 25-man rosters in January. The NHL and NHLPA have until Jan. 10 to opt out of the games.