March 19 2009 04:20PM
Lucky number 26? If 13 is widely considered unlucky by many, I wonder if double the amount is twice as bad or if there’s no significance what so ever.
Either way, Dwayne Roloson will start his 26th straight game tonight against the Avs. An Oiler win tonight should get JDD his first start since November 30, tomorrow in Chicago.
Starting Roloson tonight makes the most sense. The Oilers need this game and technically speaking their odds of a win tonight are greater than tomorrow in Chicago. Every game is huge down the stretch, but Roloson can’t start every one, so put in your best goalie tonight, get the win and then hope that Deslauriers will be so pumped to play tomorrow in Chicago that he might steal you a game.
Roloson is 9th in GP amongst goalies, he has faced the 8th most shots, and only Lundqvist has a better save % out of the top nine work horses. Roloson has had a stellar season, when you consider no one thought he would be the bona fide number one this year.
The Avs on the other hand are in the basement of the Western conference and when you look at their goalie’s numbers it’s no surprise. Budaj has a 2.87 GAA and a .899%, while Raycroft is struggling with a 3.15 GAA and .892%. The injuries to Joe Sakic and Paul Stastny have definitely hurt them, but they don’t have good enough goaltending to compete.
On Saturday, the Oilers allowed the Avs to stay in the game when Hemsky was stoned on a breakaway, and then they didn’t muster a shot on two separate two-on-ones early in the first. The Avs are playing out the string. So much for the adage “playing loose” down the stretch, because the Avs have ONE regulation win in their last 12 games.
This has to be a win tonight for the Oilers.
Joe Sakic skated this morning for the first time since suffering a back injury on Nov 28th, and then getting outsmarted by his snow blower in December. It doesn’t sound like he’ll play tonight.
Mike Vernace and Derek Peltier made their NHL debuts on the backend for the Avs earlier this week, so the Avs blueline could be ripe for the picking if both suit up again tonight.
Penner took some shifts with Moreau and Cogliano while Pisani skated with Reddox/Stortini and Brodziak. Moreau and Cogliano worked well together earlier this season, so putting them back together makes sense and Penner seems more energized when skating alongside the Captain.