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Ron Wilson thinks Brodeur didn't deserve such harsh treatment

Mar 2, 2010, 4:50 PM EDT

There’s no question that Canada was under immense pressure in the
Olympics, and after a stunning loss to the United States in round-robin
play that pressure became even more intense for Martin Brodeur. I’m not a
Canadian so I don’t have the emotional tie to the team that many had,
but even I was surprised at the level of vitriol spewed forth in the
direction of Brodeur, he of so many great victories throughout his
career.

Apparently,
so was USA and Toronto Maple Leaf head coach Ron Wilson:

“We thought Canada was the best team,” he said. “We didn’t write them
off. But I tell you, reading all the papers, everybody else had them
written off.

“The biggest surprise to me is how everybody threw Marty Brodeur, the
greatest goalie in the history of the game, under the bus and backed
over him, and forward, backward, forward, backward. It’s the greatest
goalie that’s ever played and it almost tarnished his career on one
night. He didn’t have a good night, but part of that had to do with how
well we pressured them.”

You know, I don’t think I could have described it better myself.
“…under the bus and backed over him, and forward…”, that’s pretty
much how it went. As an American and watching that game, not once I did I
believe the loss was Brodeur’s fault. At least not completely.

Sure,
some of the goals allowed were questionable, but the game really came
down to how much better Ryan Miller was on the other side of the ice.

I
guess since Canada won gold with Luongo in net then the correct choice
was made, but there’s no way Martin Brodeur deserved the criticisms he
received. I guess it really is a testament to the level of fanaticism
surround Canadian hockey; that perhaps the greatest goaltender of all
time could be torn down in an instant, just for losing a preliminary
game to the Americans.

Of course, had he played like Miikka
Kiprusoff did, then maybe I’d understand.

  1. Brendan - Mar 2, 2010 at 9:56 PM

    Although I disagree with any criticism tarnishing Brodeur’s career, I do believe he cost the Canadians the win on that night. He made early mistakes and started digging a hole that required more than the team was ready to crawl out of so early in that game.
    When your playing in a short tourney like this and you have 2 goalies of such high caliber competing sometimes a tough decision has to be made. Luongo was great when he needed to be, and made as many saves as the team needed from him to win.
    I am certainly not saying Gold would be USA’s with Brodeur in net, but the switch HAD to be made and maybe deserve is not the correct word for the criticism Brodeur has received. However through all the accolades and credit he has been given over the years playing in one of the most successful defensive systems ever, I don’t feel the least bit guilty about casting him aside in an effort to win Gold.

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