Pitkanen missed the 2006 Olympics due to injury and is scheduled to make his Olympic debut in Vancouver. The Oulu, Finland native has international experience, helping his nation win back-to-back bronze medals at the 2002 and 2003 World Junior Championships. He received the IIHF Directorate Award as the tournament’s top defenseman in 2003.
Life's about opportunity and how you respond to that opportunity, and obviously he must have some swagger about him, some confidence about him, because he was solid. He made some good saves. He was 6-foot-3 on every shot, which is a good thing for a goalie. He played well. We got a win.
— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock on rookie goaltender Garret Sparks, who made 24 saves in his first NHL start, a 3-0 win vs. Oilers
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