Fleury should start…on the bench

It seems Canadians relish the opportunity to instigate a goaltending controversy. Too bad it wasn’t an Olympic Sport. In the months leading up to the Vancouver Olympics we, as Canadians, debated the merits of Brodeur versus Luongo for the starting position.

After a less than stellar performance by Canadian puck-stopping legend Martin Brodeur, the consensus is that a change is needed between the pipes. So it’s clear. Marc-Andre Fleury will start against the Germans.

Wait? What?

There is an ever increasing rumble that the starting job should go to Fleury, who has reached the Stanley Cup finals the past two seasons, ultimately capturing the cup last year. But why is the argument being made now as opposed to the months leading up to the Olympic tournament? I’m sure it was there, but certainly not to the extent I have heard it in the past couple of days. Why has Brodeur’s performance meant Luongo is no longer capable?

The easy answer is panic. In one fell swoop Brodeur has lost the confidence of the country. It has even caused us to question the decision making that got us to this point. If we were wrong to place Brodeur in the starting position, maybe we shouldn’t have Luongo as the next choice.

Poor Luongo. He has been at the top of the list in the discussion of the greatest goaltender of this era for years, but has been in the Canadian shadow of Martin Brodeur his entire career. Luongo has waited patiently and Marty has done nothing to justify losing the net.

That was until Sunday night. And now some want to pass over Roberto Luongo.

Brodeur has been the first choice for goaltending in Canadian hockey for years, and rightfully so. Much like the argument for Fleury, Brodeur has led his club team, the New Jersey Devils, deep into the playoffs many times, winning the Stanley Cup several times. He has won the gold medal with Canada and performed well in other international competitions. His resume is beyond question.

Unfortunately Luongo has had minimal playoff experience, having played much of his career for the Florida Panthers, but few have ever questioned his abilities and whether he should be on Team Canada. He deserves the chance to show he is ready to take the torch from Martin Brodeur and lead Canada.

If we do not believe that Brodeur should be the man between the pipes to start the games due to his performance, maybe he should not be the second choice either, when Fleury is waiting in the wings. Just as Luongo waited patiently behind Brodeur, maybe it is time to promote Fleury to heir apparent. But Luongo deserves his shot. Should he falter…then we can get back to a good ole goaltending controversy.

But what do you think?


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