Not until Pat Quinn recognizes Tokarski just isn't making the grade. A highlight reel save does not compensate for letting in NINE goals in two games against two very good teams. Canada was fortunate to escape with those wins. Quinn played Pickard against Germany and Kazakhstan, not really great at showcasing his talent as he only faced 23 shots total.
But after last nights heart-attack inducing game, it's time for Quinn to take a real good look at goaltending. What do I know that he doesn't? Chet's biggest performances come in the biggest games. I don't know how else to explain it, but the more the pressure, the better he plays. There's times in the regular season where I wish it was the playoffs just so he wouldn't let in a softy here and there.
I'm not the only one who thinks Pickard should at least get a look before tomorrow's game, from the Globe and Mail:
Anyone watching the game could see he was shaky. Especially if you're used to watching him like fans in the US Division are.
The Canadian team has very suspect defence and goaltending. This flaw was overcome against the Americans largely thanks to even worse goaltending on Team USA.
In Quinn's defence, he had no way of evaluating his goaltending, trying to get Tokarski and Chet Pickard into early action but finding none against the Czechs, the Germans and the outclassed Kazakhs.
Tokarski has now played the only two matches that have amounted to anything — versus the U.S. and Russia — and though he has wins, he also carries doubts. The American speed put Team USA up 3-0 at one point, and he was not blameless. Last night against the Russians, he let in the worst goal of his tournament early in the third period, when Evgeni Grachev walked in on the left side and drifted an easy shot into the short side.
Tokarski somewhat redeemed himself in stopping both Russian shootout attempts, but during regular play he was often shaky and his defence could not compensate. Team captain Thomas Hickey has had a stumbling tournament so far. Others have not fared much better. Only the two offensive defencemen, Subban and Ellis, have exceeded expectations.
Asked about his goaltender for the gold-medal match, Quinn wisely answered, "I'd like some time to think about it."
Chet deserves a chance. If it doesn't work but Dustin back in. Let Canada see what he can do. Many Canadians are aware of Tokarski because of the Memorial Cup last year, they haven't seen Chet play like I've seen him play. There's a reason he was a first round draft pick and Dustin went in the 5th. Just sayin.
I was discussing this situation with a Canadian friend of mine who actually agrees with me, that Canada isn't dominating the tournament like they should be and that needs to start in goal, it's not getting domination with Tokarski in net.
Am I saying that Pickard is the answer? Not necessarily, he's only human, he could play worse than Tokarski (though I doubt it, but I am realistic). Nor is he gonna solve the problems the defence is having. He's not gonna convince Pat Quinn to roll four lines. And to say he's not "battle tested" and is rusty because he hasn't played recently is bunk, teams in the Dub have time off, he's never had a problem coming in after time off.
An article about Tavares had this:
"I didn’t know whether we’d be stopping, but Tokarski did a nice job there.” (Pat Quinn)From the Edmonton Sun:
Tokarski struggled early for the second straight game, but made some key saves late, particularly during the shootout, when he stoned Dmitri Kugryshev and Pavel Chernov.
But in a game in which Canada ousthot the Russians 42-28, Quinn admitted afterward he hadn’t decided if he would go back to Tokarski or switch to Chet Pickard for Monday’s gold medal game.
ONE POPULAR PICK
While the Canadian checkers were scoring, the most impressive sign in the crowd at Scotiabank Place last night acknowledged Canada's backup goalie:"We Love Pickard." The holders of the individual letters were sitting just a few rows up from where Chet Pickard was parked on the end of the bench.