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Canada's Net Result

by Michael Farber

Posted: Wed February 18, 1998

Sports Illustrated Patrick Roy sidled up to Martin Brodeur at Canada's first practice in Nagano last week and asked his fellow goaltender to offer suggestions about how to play angles or when to come out to handle the puck behind the net on the international ice surface, which is 15 feet wider than NHL rinks. "I told him don't be afraid to share," Roy says. "He's played international hockey. I'm the rookie here."

Canada coach Marc Crawford, who's also Roy's coach on the Avalanche, said he will play Roy in every Olympic game unless disaster strikes. "In this tournament you have to have a Number 1 guy," Crawford says. True. But in choosing Roy over the Devils' Brodeur, Crawford left no doubt he was looking out for number 1: He and Roy have to coexist in Denver long after the Olympics. Roy is a high-maintenance goalie whose disposition is ill-suited to being a backup. In contrast Brodeur is an easygoing guy who has idolized Roy since meeting him as a teenager. "Hey, I can get mad too," Brodeur says with a smile. "Of course I wish I could be the guy, but Patrick's the man now, and he deserves to be. He's been the best goalie in the NHL for a long time."

roy.jpg (30k)

Czech Republic and Sabres goalie Dominik Hasek might demur, and Brodeur, who leads the NHL in goals-against average this season, has his backers—Sweden's Mats Sundin, who plays with the Maple Leafs, said last week he was surprised Roy was playing ahead of Brodeur—but Roy was an excellent choice. He has won three Stanley Cups, and he usually plays his best in the biggest games. (See: 10 straight overtime wins in the 1993 playoffs.) He's also charismatic, one of the rare goalies who is a team leader. As Crawford said in explaining his choice of Roy to No. 3 goalie Curtis Joseph, "It's Patrick's time."

Issue date: February 23, 1998

Canada's Net Result

The High Five In a Pinch

Trap-Busting Technique

In the Crease


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