Who will Babcock start for Canada, Price or Luongo?

Canada's goalie Roberto Luongo makes a save against Austria during their men's preliminary round...

Canada's goalie Roberto Luongo makes a save against Austria during their men's preliminary round hockey game at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, Feb. 14, 2014. (PHIL NOBLE/Reuters)

Rob Longley, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:01 PM ET

SOCHI, RUSSIA - With two wins, little sweat and the tougher games ahead, Team Canada coach Mike Babcock gave his players Saturday off to rest.

The coaching staff will have no such luxury because high on the list of lineup work will be what to do next in net.

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo earned the shutout in Canada’s 6-0 win over Austria on Friday night and there was actual work to be done.

The previous night, Carey Price let in one goal, not that it was a bad one, but he had less to do.

So who starts Sunday against Finland?

Based on the limited body of work, and for what that’s worth, Luongo has to have the edge.

“Both goaltenders have played solid,” said defenceman P.K. Subban, who drew into the lineup for the first time. “Price played well the night before. Listen, this is Team Canada and there are a lot of good players out there. The goaltending is excellent. I’m looking forward to seeing how the tournament goes.”

So will the most of Canada, as goaltending is always a flashpoint, especially for a country where it is perceived to be a weakness.

For the record, Babcock would not tip his hand on who gets the call for Finland and Luongo shrugged his shoulders at the pending decision.

“I’m not here to plead my case, man,” said Luongo, who made 23 saves. “I’m here to play for Canada. Doesn’t matter what happens, moving forward. It’s not about personal agendas, it’s about representing your country and doing whatever it takes to win.

“It’s out of my hands, but I’ll be ready.”

GAME ON

Several players we spoke with afterwards seemed pleased with the fact that the team has improved from period to period — since the dodgy opening 20 against Norway the previous night — which is all the first two games against lightweight opponents are about ... Line of the night goes to Mr. Hat Trick, Jeff Carter, when asked about the lack of lids on the ice after he scored his third. “Olympic gear is pretty expensive,” Carter said. “I’m sure they didn’t want to lose it.” Carter’s trick, which covered shots totalling maybe10 feet tops, was a natural ... Among the handful of good saves from Luongo was one from close in on Thomas Vanek in the third to preserve the shutout ... Hard to imagine that Chris Kunitz stays on the Sidney Crosby line much longer given the way he’s played so far. And then what? The only reason he’s on the roster is because of the alleged chemistry they have in Pittsburgh ... Much talk about the fourth line of Patrice Bergeron, Jamie Benn and John Tavares being so effective — not that Tavares will last there. But here’s the thing: It’s a fourth line that would be first on more than a few NHL teams and will crush most opposing fourth lines in this tournament.

MORE SCORE

How hard is Shea Weber’s shot? Hard enough that his blast from the circle went in and out of the Austria net so quickly, it took a video review to confirm. But take Babcock’s word for it: “I don’t play my best players penalty killing when we play Nashville, just flat out because I’m afraid they will break their leg or their ankle, he shoots it that hard,” Babcock said ... Subban got his chance and was essentially given spotty ice time with different pairings. So how was it to go down from the 20-plus minutes he logs with the Habs to the seven and change versus Austria? “There’s no difference,” Subban said. “It’s a hockey game. You just go play. It doesn’t really matter if I’m satisfied with my game. As long as the coaches are happy with my game, then I’m happy.” ... Corey Perry had a weak effort on a penalty shot, which kept the Olympic tradition alive for Team Canada, which hasn’t connected on the free breakaway since Petr Nedved scored in the 1994 Games ... When Weber scored Canada’s second goal (after the first from Drew Doughty) to give Canada the 2-0, lead, four of the five goals to that point came from the defence. “It doesn’t happen too often for a defenceman,” Doughty said. “It’s nice to chip in on the offence and get a couple of goals for the guys,” added Doughty who, like Weber, has a pair already in these Games.

QUICK HITS

Austrian forward Michael Grabner on the opposition: “The could probably make five teams with the guys they left at home. They’re definitely one of the favourites, if not the favourite.” ... Subban’s family got some air time at the Bolshoy Arena with an interview on the big screen between periods ... There was some confusion as to where the game puck should go. Luongo had it first, for the shutout, but then delivered it to Carter. “I was just trying to give it to him,” Luongo said, “because I’ve got plenty of pucks.” ... Doughty on the black unis with red and gold trim. “I think it’s my favourite, actually. It just looks cool.” ... Russian president Vladimir Putin dropped by Canada House in the Olympic park and wished the country well, with a caveat: “Except in hockey.” ... Canada is now a perfect 5-0 vs. Austria in Olympic competition and has outscored them 54-3. Friday’s meeting was the first since 1984 ... Pretty sure Babcock would like shorter shifts than he saw at times on Friday. Pretty sure it’s tough when you own the puck in the offensive zone for a minute at a time, as he saw frequently.


Videos

Photos