He may have lost but Latvian goalie Kristers Gudlevskis may have given the best hockey performance at these Olympic Games.
Gudlevskis, a prospect with the Tampa Bay Lightning, stopped 55 of 57 shots on the way to a 2-1 loss against Canada. Shots from some of the NHL's best players including Sidney Crosby and Patrick Sharp.
He's got a respectable 11-8 record and a 2.90 goals against average, nothing to indicate that he'd be able to put on this kind of a performance.
To compare, Finnish goalie Tuuka Rask faced 37 shots against the Russians in a 3-1 win on Wednesday. But he IS Tuuka Rask, one of the NHL's top goalies. And Sweden's netminder Henrik Lundqvist hasn't faced a real challenge yet.
Gudlveskis, 21, wasn't even Latvia's starter and only got the nod because veteran Latvian netminder Edgars Masalskis played and won yesterday against Switzerland.
Hockey experts and fans on Twitter sang Gudlveskis' praises after the game and rightfully so.
Latvia's backup goalie should receive an Order of Herring award or whatever Latvia's version of a national honour. You humbled millionaires— Mike Stafford (@stafford640) February 19, 2014
100% of NHL agents are looking at a map of Latvia, trying to find this goalie's house. #Sochi2014— ThisHourHas22Minutes (@22_Minutes) February 19, 2014
Hire Latvia's goalie for the Leafs please. #Sochi2014— Susan Schafer (@SuzySchafer) February 19, 2014
There aren't pictures on the score sheet, but if there were, the #Latvia goalie would be riding a dragon,slaying a demon and drinking a beer— Dave Sawchuk (@davesawchuk) February 19, 2014
One quick-fingered internet user even changed the goalie's Wikipedia page to something more accurate.
This is Kristers Gudlevskis' wiki page... Latvian goalie or wizard? pic.twitter.com/tc0yfwmzUi— Sunaya Sapurji (@sunayas) February 19, 2014
Settle down Oilers fans, you can't sign him. Tampa Bay beat you to that.
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