Carey Price gets start in goal for Canada vs. Finland
Watch game at 12 p.m. ET on cbc.ca/olympics
SOCHI – Carey Price has been given No. 1 status against Finland, Canada’s first big test of the 2014 Olympic Games on Sunday (12 p.m. ET, streaming at cbc.ca/olympics).
Canadian men’s Olympic hockey coach Mike Babcock targeted the calm and cool Montreal Canadiens netminder to be his go-to goalie before the team arrived in Sochi and nothing has changed after wins over Norway and Austria to start the tournament.
Price beat Norway 3-1 on Thursday. Roberto Luongo was in goal for Canada’s 6-0 victory against Austria on Friday.
"We had a plan coming in and we haven’t changed our plan," Babcock said. "I’ve said this many times, at the Olympic Games you’re allowed one change."
By that, Babcock means that if Price falters, Luongo better be ready like he was in Vancouver when Babcock decided to replace Martin Brodeur with Luongo after a loss in the third game to the United States.
Luongo came in and won four straight games to help Canada win gold.
Babcock also has decided to alter his forward lines, including new linemates for captain Sidney Crosby. The head coach has decided to replace Crosby’s long-time Pittsburgh Penguins teammate Chris Kunitz with Jamie Benn, who has been impressive over here on a line with John Tavares and Patrice Bergeron.
“I think Kunitz did real good where he was,” Babcock said. “But to me this wasn't about Kunitz, it was just about our overall team and just trying to find things that work."
Babcock stated that if the new Crosby line didn’t work out, he could swiftly move Kunitz and Nash back with Crosby and put Benn and Bergeron back with Tavares.
Here are the new Canadian forward combinations:
Jamie Benn – Sidney Crosby – Patrice Bergeron
Patrick Marleau – Jonathan Toews – Jeff Carter
Matt Duchene – Ryan Getzlaf – Corey Perry
Chris Kunitz/Patrick Sharp – John Tavares – Rick Nash
Martin St. Louis and defenceman P.K. Subban will not dress against Finland.
"I told Sharpy he wasn’t going, I told Subban, I told Duchene, these are great players, great people that are committed to us winning a medal," Babcock said.
"It’s all about the medal. Don’t get me wrong, it’s personal, when you tell a guy [he’s not playing], it’s personal. But it’s not about that, it’s about Canada. What I do know about this tournament, when you win at the end you made the right decisions, if you don’t, you get second-guessed."