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Goalies at the Olympics

Last September, GoalieMania tred to predict who was going be the 3 goaltenders for the 6 top countries in Salt Lake City. On December 21st, the 6 teams unveiled their rosters. Let's look and analyze the choices of every teams.

1. Czech Republic

Predictions Choice
Dominik Hasek
Roman Cechmanek
Roman Turek
Dominik Hasek (det) - 12e
Roman Cechmanek (phi) - 19e
 Roman Turek (cal) - 8e

Those choices were probably the easiest. Hasek and Cechmanek were 2 of the best in goal last year in the NHL. Roman Turek didn't have a great series against the Avs but he was incredible in the first 2 months of the season.

2. Canada

Predictions Choice
Patrick Roy
Curtis Joseph
Martin Brodeur
Curtis Joseph (tor) - 17e
Martin Brodeur (nj) - 27e

Patrick Roy found another way to make the headlines when he decided to say no to Gretzky and friends. By doing that, he gave the job of the 2 first goaltenders to Curtis Joseph and Martin Brodeur. The selection of Ed Belfour instead of Sean Burke was a bit surprising because Burke is simply the best in the NHL since 2 years and has a lot of international experience.

3. Sweden

Predictions Choice
Tommy Salo
Johan Hedberg
Johan Holmqvist
Tommy Salo (edm) - 16e 
Johan Hedberg (pit) - 10e
Mikael Tellqvist (tor) - 38e (AHL)

With few Swedish goalies in the NHL, 2 of them were sure to play in Salt Lake City. Salo could be a dominant goalie if the offense does its job. It's finally Mikael Tellqvist who won the third place just in front of Johan Holmqvist.

4. USA

Predictions Choice
Mike Dunham
Mike Richter
Robert Esche
Mike Richter (nyr) - 5e
Tom Barrasso (car) - 14e
Mike Dunham (nas) - 21e

The great season starts by Mike Richter and Tom Barrasso left no choice to the US coaching staff to choose the 2 veterans. Mike Dunham had a hard first third of season but seems to get back on track lately and could be more than a third goalie in Salt Lake City.

5. Russia

Predictions Choice
Nikolai Khabibulin
Vadim Tarasov
Evgeny Konstantinov
Nikolai Khabibulin (tby) - 1er
**Evgeny Nabokov**(sj) - 4e
S.Podomasky (Russie) - N/A

The Russians made a strange choice by going with Evgeny Nabokov…from Kazakstan. It's not sure that Nabokov will have the right to play but, does a team need a second goalie when you have Nikolai Khabibulin, the best in the NHL this year?

6. Finland

Predictions Choice
Janne Hurme
Mikka Kiprussoff
Ari Ahonen
Janne Hurme (ott) - 38e
Jussi Markkanen (edm) - 54e
Passi Nurminen (atl) - 45e (AHL)

A bit like Patrick Roy, Mikka Kiprussoff decided not to play at the Olympics. The young Markkanen and Nurminen are going to be the 2 back-ups. Jane Hurme will have to be at his best if he wants to bring a medal back to Ottawa.

CONCLUSION

GoalieMania correctly predicted 12 of the 18 goalies (66,6%) who will be at the Olympics. With Roy, Nabokov and Kiprussoff that are special cases, that brings us to 12/15 (80%). With the ranking (NHL) of the first 2 goalies of each team we can have an idea of the strength of the countries in net for the Olympics tournament :

bulletRUSSIA - 5 (With Nabokov)
bulletUSA - 19 
bulletCZECH REPUBLIC - 20
bulletSWEDEN - 26
bulletCANADA - 44
bulletFINLAND - 92


 

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