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Brian Burke’s pick in goal for Team Canada? Cam Ward

Nov 26, 2013, 10:00 AM EDT

Brian Burke AP

Calgary Flames executive Brian Burke is one of the guys who will help pick the Team USA roster for the 2014 Winter Olympics, but that doesn’t mean he’ll hold back thoughts on what other countries should do with their team.

This is what Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun found out when he asked Burke who he’d pick to play goal for Team Canada. His choice might surprise you.

“As of this week, I’d pick Cam Ward,” Burke said.

“He’s out of his mind right now — you can’t beat him,” Burke continued. “Everybody’s worried about Canada’s goalies right now, but I’m not. I think they have three guys who could play. You just have to figure out who’s on at that moment.”

You might recall, Ward wasn’t invited to Team Canada’s summer orientation camp in Calgary.

Ward has dealt with injury this season, but his numbers are strong considering the amount of shots he’s faced. He’s 3-3-4 with a .918 save percentage and a 2.66 goals-against average. In 11 games, he’s faced 319 shots good for 29 shots per game. That kind of action keeps you on your toes.

While Carey Price and Roberto Luongo figure to be favorites to make the Canadian roster, Ward is making a case for himself. He’ll have other competition from Phoenix’s Mike Smith, Washington’s Braden Holtby, and Chicago’s Corey Crawford.

  1. packerswin96 - Nov 26, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    It is a damn good thing Burke is picking for the US and not Canada.

    • cweez2 - Nov 26, 2013 at 10:22 AM

      He can pick for the US but David Poile will probably ignore it. ;)

  2. badgerhockey77 - Nov 26, 2013 at 10:30 AM

    Cam Ward? Are you kidding me!?!?!? I think he meant Cam Talbot maybe…I don’t know. Shut up Burke. You’re an idiot! I could care less who Canada picks for their goalie but Cam Ward??? lol

  3. alicesrightfootesq - Nov 26, 2013 at 10:36 AM

    Personally I think they should go with Dan Cloutier but that’s just one American’s opinion.

  4. hockey412 - Nov 26, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    Price .935 2.05
    Luongo .912 2.33
    Fleury .919 2.05
    Ward .918 2.66
    Smith .911 3.02
    Holtby .925 2.59

    No love for Fleury? Any takers?

    • hazlydose - Nov 26, 2013 at 2:12 PM

      Fleury probably won’t go because of his play in the playoffs the last couple of years, which is understandable, but he should at least be in the discussion as one of the long shots.

  5. shaundre93 - Nov 26, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    Idk why people are acting like that’s an asinine selection. Cam Ward has quietly been one of the most consistent performers for like 8 straight seasons. Carolina has not had a good squad in years but he keeps them competitive. Did you see what happened to them last year when Ward went down? He obviously wouldn’t be #1 going in, but I think he should make it. He’s definitely better than Smith, Fleury and Holtby.

    • alicesrightfootesq - Nov 26, 2013 at 12:03 PM

      Don’t forget his mental toughness, either. Remember the poise he had as a kid in ’06?

    • storminator16 - Nov 26, 2013 at 3:30 PM

      I’m a Canes fan. Cam Ward has not been consistent. He won us a Cup and he’s been money in the playoffs; that is all I will ever have to care about. However, he hasn’t been the most consistent goalie since then. If he gets picked for Team Canada, I can care less.

  6. goodolejr - Nov 26, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    I understand his history but why is there no talk about Steve Mason? His .931 save % & 2.17 GAA put him above everyone mentioned in this article (and every other outlet) except Carey Price. He’s the only reason the Flyers have a shot in the Metro division (well that and basically all the other teams in the division are pretty bad) and is 6th in save % out of goalies who have played at least 15 games, 9th overall.

    • 19to77 - Nov 26, 2013 at 11:48 AM

      It’s too small a sample size, I think, measured against a much larger one in Columbus. Good as he’s been lately, he was mediocre for much longer and with all those choices I don’t think you can risk a question mark like that in your Olympic top-3.

      • goodolejr - Nov 26, 2013 at 12:14 PM

        If it’s too small of a sample size, you can say the same about Mike Smith. His career numbers before last season are pretty similar to Mason (eerily similar since Smith’s .930 save % campaign came in his 6th NHL season and this is Mason’s 6th).

        In my opinion, if a player can play his way out of an Olympic roster spot, a player should be able to play his way on it.

      • 19to77 - Nov 26, 2013 at 12:35 PM

        I wouldn’t pick Smith for the Olympics either actually, so yeah, I agree. I’d go with Price, Luongo and Ward. I wouldn’t tab Ward as the starter like Burke is here, but he’s been quietly great on some defensively awful Carolina teams over the years. He’s got the resume those guys lack.

  7. hazlydose - Nov 26, 2013 at 12:25 PM

    I’m not shocked that Fleury isn’t being seriously considered, but to not at least be in the fringe discussion with the year he is having is ridiculous.

  8. brockohol - Nov 26, 2013 at 3:32 PM

    So…I was just nerding out over the Olympics and looking at how many of my Blues could potentially make their countries squads (10?) and it seems that alot of the European powerhouses of old other than Sweden are really weak. Unless the players over in the Finish/KHL/Swedish/etc…leagues are just way better than we think, I cant see anyway Sweden, Canada, or USA is not in the Gold game. Czech, Slovak, and Finnish teams are sad and the Russian team isnt much better. Once you get past that top two lines your looking at bottom feeders in the NHL. I know some petty good Russian guys have left for KHL (Radulov) but I dont look at those guys as a big difference maker.

    Just kind of sad that some of these teams that used to be so cool to see are so thinned out now.

    • soro17 - Nov 26, 2013 at 4:40 PM

      It is a short tournament, crazy things happen. In Vancouver for example, Chara and Meszaros played about 40 minutes a game, Halak stood on his head and Gaborik and Demitra were the second coming of the Stasnys. Result – Slovakia loses in the bronze medal game after knocking of a stacked (in theory) Swedish team. The Swedes were undermined by some bizarre coaching – the Sedins got third line minutes playing in their home rink and were saddled with Matthias Weinhandl of all people as a winger. I wouldn’t right off some of the ‘lesser’ countries. There will be surprises.

      • brockohol - Nov 26, 2013 at 4:56 PM

        Oh no doubt…it was just surprising to see how short the lists were for some of these countries of guys in the NHL, but more so that once you got past the top 5 they were just washed up or no namers. Finland? Man, I used to watch them play and think they were just unreal top to bottom. Now, its just a few above average players and then the 40 yr olds like Koivu, Jokinen, and Selane who are still fine players and cool to still see them out there but in regards to competing in the Olympics…I just dont see it.

  9. bsaures - Nov 26, 2013 at 3:41 PM

    Brian no offense but when the team you managed for several years has one of the worst prospect system even while not making the playoffs the entire time and getting high picks maybe i dont trust your opinion on talent that much

  10. weekie87 - Nov 28, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    Guys….let’s get real here seriously. I am Canadian. I love hockey. I despise these blogs but I have to create an account just to post on this one. I have a feeling that Burke may know a thing or two about hockey. I am not talking about some fantasy league that some people would consider luck. We are talking about a real actual live Stanley cup. As far as wardo. Stanley cup too. Real live actual one. And MVP for it to boot. Very possibly the only reason for the comeback and semi finals beating brodeur BTW. Plays on a sub par team and still crushes numbers. Price……doesn’t have a cup. For that matter has he ever done anything come crunch time. Luongo. Well he has a gold but you would too with that team in front of you. Now back in Vancouver when he is playing with the sedin sisters he has nothing but reg season numbers. Fleaury isn’t a consideration because he is a product of the organization. Cam ward. Team Canada. Period.

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