Renney switched shootout goalies with a lot more at stake

STEVE SIMMONS

, Last Updated: 7:57 AM ET

When Ron Wilson chose to change his goaltenders prior to a shootout in a regular season game earlier this week, the move was treated as though it was a breakthrough, if not, irrational thinking.

In fact, in the most significant shootout in Olympic hockey history, Canadian coach Tom Renney would definitely have changed goaltenders, if his backup hadn't been injured at the time.

Renney tells that story now, long after Peter Forsberg scored the famous shootout goal in 1994 on Corey Hirsch, (I have the stamp to prove it), enabling Sweden to win the Olympic gold medal.

Hirsch, his starter, wasn't considered a good breakaway goalie. Manny Legace, the backup, was the choice of the coaching staff, not to start the game, but to end it. And Renney admits now he would have switched to Legace if it was physically possible.

The irony now: Hirsch is the first-year goaltending instructor for the Maple Leafs. If anyone knows what it is to lose in a shootout, it is him. Whether Wilson chooses to switch goalies again is another matter. But know this: In a game far more important than an October NHL match, a coach of high quality would have done exactly the same thing.

THIS AND THAT

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HEAR AND THERE

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SCENE AND HEARD

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AND ANOTHER THING

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