VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Martin Brodeur is out as Canada's Olympic goaltender.
Hello, Roberto Luongo — at least for Tuesday's qualification game against Germany.
Canada coach Mike Babcock is benching Brodeur — the NHL career victories leader — for allowing four goals on 22 shots during a 5-3 upset loss to the United States on Sunday. Babcock told Luongo on Sunday night he would play the next game.
"I'm really pumped up and ready to go," Luongo said Monday. "I've been taking shots on the side to stay sharp, just in case, and when you're excited and the adrenaline is going, you don't have any problems finding that rhythm."
Luongo, playing in his NHL home arena, made 15 saves while shutting out Norway 8-0 on Feb. 16. The Vancouver Canucks goalie also filled in for an injured Brodeur to beat Finland during the 2004 World Cup.
Unlike Brodeur, Luongo has no Stanley Cup championships or Olympic gold-medal game victories to rely upon.
"The way I felt today in practice was great, stopping almost every shot, the puck was squared and I felt good," Luongo said. "I was seeing the puck well. The excitement level is really high right now, probably one of the highest it's ever been. This is a big stage, and it's your job as an athlete to be ready at all times."
Brodeur declined to talk about being benched for a goalie who grew up only four blocks from him in suburban Montreal.
In the 2002 Games, Brodeur took over for Curtis Joseph following a 5-2 loss to Sweden and carried Canada to its only Olympic gold medal since 1952.
Babcock was critical of Brodeur following the U.S. game, saying Canada needed better goaltending.
"We're in the winning business, and to win the games at any level, at a high level, you need big saves," Babcock said.
Babcock also suggested Luongo's butterfly style might be a better fit for a disappointing Canadian team that was favored to win the gold medal, but now finds itself in the qualification round.
"You need momentum-changing saves, and we're looking for Lou (Luongo) to do that for us. He's a great big butterfly goaltender. If you look at the way the puck went in our nets last night, with traffic and people in front a lot, which is the way the game is now, sometimes just being down in that big butterfly things hit you and bump into you. We believe Lou gives us a real good opportunity to win."
The Canadians also are shaking up their lines, giving star Sidney Crosby yet another set of linemates.
Rick Nash is off. Jarome Iginla, who scored three goals while on Crosby's line against Norway, is back on, along with Eric Staal.
Crosby began the U.S. game centering a line with Nash and Mike Richards. Now, Nash is with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry and Richards is with Jonathan Toews and Brenden Morrow. Dany Heatley, the leading goal scorer with four goals, is with Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton.
Patrice Bergeron is the extra forward after beginning the tournament on Crosby's line.