After much deliberation by the Team Canada management staff, it was decided that Carey Price will get the start against Finland at the Olympic Games this afternoon.
Price started the opening game of the tournament, and defeated Norway 3-1, stopping 19 of the 20 shots he faced. Canada spun their tires a nit offensively in that game, but pulled it together in game two, a 6-0 victory over Austria.
Price sat out game two in favor of incumbent Olympic goaltender Roberto Luongo. The Vancouver Canucks netminder helped Canada win gold in 2010, and has been one of the best goaltenders in the NHL since his Florida days, dating back more than two lockouts ago.
Head Coach Mike Babcock announced before the Olympic Games began, that each goaltender would get a start in the first pair of games, and then they would decide one their guy to take the ball and run with it in game three. Turns out the Montreal Canadiens Carey Price is that guy for Team Canada now.
The Habs goalkeeper has earned this chance to make a run for an Olympic Gold Medal with his strong play this season, and if he plays well again today, he will surely be in the net during the Medal Round.
Finland has been struck hard by the injury bug, especially at forward, but it has not stopped them from scoring more goals than any other nation thus far. Top centers Mikko Koivu and Valtteri Filppula were injured before the event began, and Alexander Barkov was knocked out of their game against Norway two days ago.
Finland opened the Olympic Games with an 8-4 win over Austria and followed that up with a dominating 6-1 victory against Norway.
Even without their best centers, Team Finland struck for 14 goals in two games, led by rookie NHL defensemen Sami Vatanen and Olli Maatta who both have four points. Finland will be a tough opponent for Canada, and especially Price, and will be an excellent test before the Medal Round begins.
While Carey Price is back in the lineup, Habs defenseman P.K. Subban is coming out again. Subban sat game one against Norway, but was dressed against Austria and played well. It was thought that his speed, skill and passing abilities would make him an invaluable player on the big ice, but Canada will dress Dan Hamhuis in his place.
The winner of this game will win Group B and jump directly to Wednesday’s Quarterfinal. If this game is won in regulation by either team, they will be the first seed throughout the Medal Round. An overtime or shootout win would put the victor in second, behind Sweden who won all three of their games in regulation.