I keep hearing "Luongo deserves it" and "Luongo got it done last time" and assorted variants on that theme to justify starting him over Carey Price.
This is exactly the antediluvian thinking that could sink Team Canada and hopefully it is only lazy MSM sportswriters, 'insiders', and 'panelists' who think this way and not the coaching staff.
If I recall, Luongo looked shaky and unreliable through much of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. He was only in because Brodeur looked even worse in a 5-3 loss to the USA and there was no other option but to play Lu.
Here is Luongo's record against the also-rans from Vancouver 2010:
- Germany 2 goals 23 shots .913
- Norway 0 goals 15 shots 1.000
Not bad numbers but remember this was behind an all-star team, on home ice, against teams that were basically placemats at the tournament table.
Against higher level competition, Luongo fared worse:
- Slovakia 2 goals 21 shots .904
- Russia 3 goals, 28 shots .893
That averages to .897, or definitely subpar.
In the gold medal game vs. USA: 2 goals, 36 shots .944
That looks pretty good but if Ryan Miller hadn't whiffed on a weak-ass shot by Crosby then the whole Luongo-as-gold-medal-goalie meme could easily have been stillborn. My opinion and, if I remember correctly the general consensus, was that Canada won despite Luongo, not because of anything particularly spectacular that he did..
Somehow, over the intervening four years, that has morphed to "Luongo is the reigning gold-medal goalie". If that thinking prevails I believe it will be to the detriment of Canada's current gold medal chances. Hopefully the coaching staff will not succumb to this fallacy and recognize that Price is the better goalie now and will give them their best chance of winning.
all stats from: http://www.iihf.com/channels10/olympics-2010/statistics.html