Monday, March 17, 2008

Dwayne Roloson, Edmonton Oilers and How To Build A Brick Wall

If you did not catch the Sharks/Oilers game last night then you missed probably the best game of the season that demonstrates how incredibly important the goalie is to a teams success. San Jose out shot Edmonton 49-23 ... as impressive as that sounds nothing was getting past Roloson on Sunday night - certainly not the Sharks' shots, and not their 11-game winning streak, either. Roloson made 48 saves and was able to turn aside three more pucks in the shootout. Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said "I think I've seen him at that level before, but I've never seen him better than he was tonight, I'm really happy for him." MacTavish and the Oilers are still in the playoff race sitting in 11th place, five points behind eighth-place Vancouver.

Captain Patrick Marleau was able to net the Sharks only goal (out of 4 tries). One incredible play was when Brian Campbell was able to strip the puck away in the neutral zone and found himself with wide open ice and one Dwayne Roloson standing poised for action. Campbell took a couple strides, cocked back and fired his cannon ... right into the glove of Roloson as if he knew exactly where that puck was going. Brian Campbell flipped his stick away in disgust and skated away. "We had probably more chances than I can remember, and he made a ton of saves," Sharks coach Ron Wilson said. "Glove saves, stretch saves, split saves. He just had one of those nights. You thought he might be a little tired, but he hasn't played in about a month. We did a lot of things, but he robbed us." When asked Jonathan Cheechoo said "We played well, and we created a lot of chances, We just didn't create enough traffic in front of him, and I know I didn't convert a couple of good rebounds. Any goalie that sees the puck is going to stop it." Jonathan finished the games with 7 shots on goal.

As if we had to further reinforce this point, Detroit out shot Columbus 46-17, yet the Blue Jackets had a different plan in mind for the outcome of the game. Columbus' second-string goalie Fredrik Norrena got the starting nod and had barely seven minutes to prepare for what became the best performance of his career. Norrena made a career-high 43 saves in place of No. 1 goalie Pascal Leclaire, who sat out with flu symptoms. "I would prefer to know the day before, but those are the things you have to get used to as a backup goalie," said Norrena, who won for the first time since Feb. 7. Dominick Hasek was pulled from the crease when he allowed 4 out of 10 pucks find the back of the net and was replaced by Chris Osgood. Detroit is having to reinvent themselves every time they take the ice, I am not sure what is going down in motor city. Maybe its in the water?

No comments: