At the big stage, media tends to delegate two players as saviors for each squad competing. This is providing that they will out duo their opponent to win the game.
This being said, leading up to the Canada v.s Russia game tonight, many match-up's may be looked upon throughout the game. Just as in Canada's game against the United States, Miller stood on solid ground compared to Brodeur who looked shaky throughout the game.
Along with the offensive match-up of Crosby vs Ovechkin, the goaltenders Luongo and Nabokov have a chance to steal the game as each team looks to progress to the semi final round, and than the gold medal game. Both goaltenders have had NHL playoff and international experience... but to an extent.
Luongo has a balanced record of 11 wins and 11 losses, with 2 years of playoff competition. During International competition he has a total of 28 games played, 18 wins, 5 losses, and 4 ties.
His playoff Save Percentage adds up to .930 and through International competition equals .926.
Nabokov statistics show a total of 65 games played, 32 wins, and 31 losses, with a save percentage of .915. During International play he stands with 13 games played in, 11 wins, and 2 losses, with a 1.46 GAA.
After the game against the United States, Mike Babcock, Canada's Head Coach stated, "(Luongo) is a great big butterfly goalie and the way the pucks went in our net last night, with traffic and people in front of you a lot, which is the way the game is now, sometimes being down in that big butterfly things hit you and bump into you. We think Lou gives us a real good opportunity."
With the new birth of confidence from his players and head coach, Luongo is set to play in the upcoming game. The Russian's on the other hand hope that the pressure may get to them and give an advantage to their team.
Vladislav Tretiak, the legendary former goaltender and current general manager of the Russian Federation's Olympic squad, said through an interpreter. "Of course we feel the pressure, but Canada feels much bigger pressure."
Tonight's game may tell all and lead to many more media inputs on how each goaltender handles pressure, which style of play is better, and in the end who is the better goaltender... similar to who is the better forward - Crosby or Ovechkin?