According to Steve Yzerman, the executive director for the Canadian men's hockey team on Tuesday, the Canadian goaltending situation might not be as much of a problem as some people might think.
Heading into the 2013-14 National Hockey League regular season, Canadian goaltending was a definite question mark, as many international teams such as Sweden, the United States and Finland seemed to have had an edge over Canada.
However, Yzerman is not as worried about the situation. In an answer to a question on Tuesday at a press conference in Toronto, Yzerman said the following about the Canadian goaltenders chosen--Mike Smith of the Phoenix Coyotes, Roberto Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks and Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens.
"I watched not only these three, but a couple of other Canadian goaltenders who are having very, very good years. I'll start with Roberto Luongo. If you watched the game in L.A. the other night that he played in, (a 3-1 Los Angeles win over Vancouver where Luongo made 46 saves), that wasn't any determining factor in our decision, but that's as good as I've seen Roberto play. He looked outstanding. He's had a very good year (16-10-6, 2.23 goals against average, three shutouts). He's been through a lot and he's persevered, come through it and is playing very well. I think that makes him a better goaltender than he was four years ago. Carey Price has had an outstanding season (20-11, 2.22 goals against average, two shutouts). I've witnessed first hand his two games against Tampa. He has played numerous outstanding games for his team. He has really elevated his game this year and Mike Smith continues out in Phoenix. He plays a lot of minutes, faces a lot of shots, and has won a lot of games this year. We're very pleased and very comfortable with our goaltending."
The play of Smith however should be a minor concern. His goals against average of 2.89 is only 35th in the NHL, but his 1100 saves does lead the NHL so far.