Last night against the Rangers wasn't the greatest of outings for our Olympic-honored goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, but that doesn't mean the past two weeks have been equally miserable. In fact, as he notes in his most recent post on RDS, the entire Olympic run was an (obviously) experience he will never forget. See what he has to say about Martin Brodeur, Sidney Crosby and the Olympics after the jump.
As always, thanks to our residential translator Becky or taking the time to work on this one word for word. Always appreciated.
Speaking of Sid's game-winning goal, thanks to GW40 for posting this picture up as a fanshot. Betcha you laugh...
The Class of Brodeur
I set foot back in Pittsburgh on Monday, and I’m still floating on the Olympics cloud. I’m wearing a gold medal around my neck.
It’s still rather unreal. In less than a year, I’ve won the Stanley Cup and Olympic gold.
Still, there’s a major difference between the two achievements. I was the trusted goalie for the Stanley Cup, whereas for the Olympic Games, I was acting as the third goalie.
I never complained about my role, but obviously I would have loved to have played a game. You don’t feel as involved in the team when you don’t put on the uniform. Of the 23 players, I was the only one who couldn’t jump onto the ice.
Although in fact, I did have the chance to sit on the bench of the Canadian team for one game, the second one against the Swiss. Martin Brodeur was the starting goalie.
I will retain an indelible memory of Brodeur and Luongo. I will always keep in mind the great professionalism of Martin. He accepted the decision of Mike Babcock to replace him with Luongo with dignity.
Martin is the greatest goalie in history in terms of wins, shutouts, and a whole bunch of other records. But he is also a very humble guy and a good teammate. He maintained his smile for the rest of the tournament, and he continued to freely offer advice to Roberto and me during practice.
When he returned to the athletes’ village, he lost his smile a bit. But in no case would he ever put his personal interests above those of the team. That’s the definition of a real pro!
Crosby, the man of big moments
Like all Canadians, I jumped for joy when Sidney Crosby scored the winning goal in overtime of the gold-medal game. It was a magical feeling; I was so happy for my Penguin teammate and my very good friend.
One couldn’t write a better ending. There was a ton of pressure on the shoulders of Sidney. He was everywhere before the Olympic Games; he even made the cover of Sports Illustrated.
Before the final, some journalists were criticizing his lack of production. They were perhaps forgetting that Sidney was playing against the best players in the world. But once again he succeeded in silencing his detractors. He scored one of the biggest goals in Canadian hockey history.
After the match, Sidney still did not quite understand the importance of his goal. He didn’t want to think too much about it; I think he just wanted to celebrate the victory with his teammates and his family.
The Adventure of the Games
I loved my adventure at the Olympic Games from start to finish. I had the chance to rub elbows with athletes from outside the world of hockey. In the [Olympic] village, I shared a small room with the defenseman Brent Seabrook (Blackhawks).
I was also able to speak with gold medalists like Alexandre Bilodeau and Charles Hamelin. It is always very nice to share our different experiences with each other, it’s very fulfilling.
We truly lived our Olympic experience to the fullest. We ate at the cafeteria like everyone else; there was no question of living in a closed environment.
I must also tell you a little secret. I watched the figure skating competition performances of Joannie Rochette with guys from the television team.
I can tell you that there was a lot of emotion in the air… I was bowled over by her strength and her courage!
I hope now to get a second chance to represent my country in Sochi in 2014.
Talk to you soon,