The decision is getting tougher for Steve Yzerman.
The general thought over the summer was that Canada might be limited in its supply of Olympic-quality goaltenders, but that’s been far from the case so far this season.
Carey Price and Roberto Luongo have been at the top of their games, while Josh Harding, James Reimer and Ben Scrivens have performed well above expectations throughout the first two months of the 2013-14 campaign.
This impressive group are doing all they can to earn one of the three spots available on the Olympic team.
Every Monday, we’ll rank Canada’s Sochi goaltending options based on how they’ve played recently. Will Stevie Y go with the stalwarts — or will someone ride a hot glove hand all the way to Russia?
1) Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens: Price remains the likely candidate to open as the starter for Team Canada. Playing behind an otherwise average team in Montreal, Price has put up stellar numbers with wins in two of his last three starts and a goals-against average of 1.67 and save percentage of .944 over that span.
2) Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks: Now that he has the Canucks’ No. 1 job all to himself again, Luongo has been very consistent this year. He’s allowed two goals in seven of his last eight starts.
3) Mike Smith, Phoenix Coyotes: In league circles, Smith is considered to be a lock for the roster—but he’s stumbled as of late. Smith has allowed 15 goals over his last four starts and was pulled after two periods in a 4-2 loss to Anaheim on Saturday.
4) Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks: Crawford does have a Stanley Cup on his resume but remains on the outside looking in. He’s registered wins in three of his last five appearances but put up two clunkers during that stretch.
5) Josh Harding, Minnesota Wild: Harding has been among the top goalies in the NHL this season, but his numbers have begun to fall off over his past two contests. The Wild netminder allowed six goals with a lowly .880 save percentage in those games and is now battling the dreaded lower-body injury. Is this a sign of things to come?
6) Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh Penguins: Fleury is up to his usual antics this season. He’s performed admirably (as always during the regular season) for Pittsburgh , allowing just three goals in his last four contests and dropping his goals-against average on the season to 1.93. His previous playoff numbers will likely doom his chances.
7) James Reimer, Toronto Maple Leafs: Reimer has been very impressive this season. The addition of Jonathan Bernier has not fazed Reimer at all and he’s actually thrived under the circumstances. Reimer has won four of his last six starts.
8) Ben Scrivens, Los Angeles Kings: Who would’ve thought the Leafs could develop goalies?! The Kings have gotten phenomenal play from Scrivens since Jonathan Quick went down with a groin injury. He registered four straight wins with two shutouts before picking up overtime losses his past two games.
9) Jonathan Bernier, Toronto Maple Leafs: Bernier has shown flashes of star potential but he continues to be haunted by ugly goals. He has just one victory in his last four games and needs to improve his focus and concentration. Reimer has been the more reliable goalie in Toronto as of late.
10) Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals: Holtby has been able to hold the No. 10 spot in the power rankings with improved play over the last week. In his last four contests, Holtby is getting his groove back, allowing nine goals with a stellar .940 save percentage.