Brodeur named to Team Canada
|Brodeur won gold at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games.|
It will be the fourth Olympics for Brodeur, who backstopped Canada to gold at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City. The NHL's all-time leader in wins, shutouts and games played, Brodeur has been at the top of his game this season, and leads the League with 24 victories.
Canada's other goaltenders will be Pittsburgh's Marc-Andre Fleury and Vancouver's Roberto Luongo. Former Devil defenseman Scott Niedermayer was named as captain.
The Canadians will be looking to avenge a disappointing finish at the 2006 Torino Games, when they failed to medal.
"There’s always pressure in Canada," Brodeur said Wednesday morning. "I think that’s the part of hockey that’s fun. I think being accountable to the success is something that’s important, especially in Canada. The support will be there. The pressure, we have to take it has a huge positive instead of a negative, like everybody thinks it’s going to affect us. I think it’s going to be great. We had a lot of success in Toronto and Montreal during the World Cup in 2004, and it was on our home soil. So I don’t see that it’s going to be different in Vancouver for Canadian players."
Canada's forwards include Sidney Crosby, Jarome Iginla, Rick Nash, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Eric Staal, Jonathan Toews, Joe Thornton, Dany Heatley, Patrick Marleau, Patrice Bergeron, Brenden Morrow and Mike Richards. Niedermayer will be joined by Chris Pronger, Shea Weber, Dan Boyle, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Drew Doughty.
Brodeur has witnessed a changing of the guard for Team Canada during his 16 NHL seasons.
"It’s a big transition from '06 and '02 to what’s going to be in 2010," Brodeur said. "Sidney Crosby, he’s been one of the top players since he got drafted, he’s won a Stanley Cup now. This is a step for him to really establish himself. That’s the beauty of our country. You’ll see a lot of young players needed to really take over. Before it was, rely on older players to do so. Now it’s going to be different. In ‘02, we had Mario Lemieux, Joe Sakic, Rob Blake, a lot of different, older guys."
There is still the question of who will be tapped as Canada's starter, although Brodeur's hot start should go a long way toward ending that debate. He said he hadn't felt any added pressure to perform through the first half of the season.
"I go about my business the same way," Brodeur said. "Especially as a goalie, you can’t do anything. People know what you’re able to do. You want to play well. You want to have decent stats so they can make sure you’re fine tuned for it. But one or two games won’t make a big difference in how you play. It’s really, when it comes down to it, it’s going to be about people performing that day. It goes for goalies, it goes for forwards and defensemen also."
More than anything, Brodeur is thrilled to have another shot at gold.
"These are great opportunities to do something great," he said. "Again, this year is a fun process with it being in Canada. It’s going to be a lot of pressure, and I’d definitely love to be a part of it."