Dwayne Roloson: Destined To Play Every Game Between Now and Elimination?

Jonathan Willis
March 21 2009 11:51AM

roli1

Fun game last night. The refereeing was questionable – at times even downright bad, and the Oilers didn’t exactly carry the play for the whole game, but a win is a win and the Oilers have managed to put together a stretch of play that has them gaining some clearance on 9th place in the West. Despite a goal from Gagner and a shootout goal from Kotalik, the second line was soundly outplayed on the night, and Liam Reddox left the game after a late hit to the head from behind courtesy of Ben Eager.

Dwayne Roloson played his 27th game in a row last night, and there were some scary moments. He went down hard a couple of times, at one point slamming the back of his knee into his goal post, at another point appearing to injure his arm. He was asked about it after the game, and here are some of the questions:

REPORTER: Havlat went around the net and it looked like you hurt your arm… ROLOSON: You’ll have to ask the trainers on that one, I’m not at liberty to say.

REPORTER: Were you worried at all when you went down? ROLOSON: No, I wasn’t worried – well I was worried, he had the puck and he was going behind the net. You always worry when something hurts, but it’s part of the job. PRINCIPE: Did you think you might have to come out, especially on the initial impact? ROLOSON: I don’t know. I can’t answer that question – I don’t know what my thought process was at that point, sorry Gene I really can’t.

PRINCIPE: Before the game the head coach said that he had spoken to you and that he maybe considered starting Jeff, but he thought “why change a good thing”. I’m wonder about the conversation feeling you had in getting another chance to continue the streak? ROLOSON: Well it wasn’t much of a conversation. He just said, “Are you OK?” I said “yeah” That was it. There wasn’t much to it.

Aside from the fact that Roloson clearly likes playing with the media and that he isn’t going to say anything that indicates he feels tired or hurt, I see one very interesting point there. At the risk of reading too much into one comment, the conversation between Roloson and MacTavish would seem to offer us a glimpse into the coach’s mindset. MacTavish clearly sees Roloson as a better option than Jeff Deslauriers, and it seems that he plans to ride the hot hand until Roloson says he needs a break – and despite his age I don’t know if that’s going to happen. Given that Roloson gets practices off, and given his incredibly competitive nature, I doubt that he’s going to ask for a break. MacTavish actually raised the point that playing many consecutive games could be a positive for Roloson:

"I'm waiting for the question: Do you think all this activity has been beneficial to Rollie?" added MacTavish. "And I'll answer it: It looks to me like it has. He is a guy that's capable of keeping his game at the level it's at for quite some time."

Is that wise? While this doesn’t qualify as a full answer, here is Dwayne Roloson’s save percentage (h/t to Vic Ferrari for the idea) in five game segments over the last 27 games:

  • 1st segment: .898 SV%
  • 2nd segment: .923 SV%
  • 3rd segment: .918 SV%
  • 4th segment: .912 SV%
  • 5th segment: .919 SV%
  • Last 2 games: .929 SV%

I don’t see any evidence there that Roloson’s getting tired yet. Further, I really don’t see MacTavish resting him until one of two things occurs: the Oilers have a playoff spot locked, or the wheels fall off. And I’m not convinced that he’s wrong to do so.

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Jonathan Willis is Managing Editor of the Nation Network. He also currently writes for the Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey, Grantland, and Hockey Prospectus. His work has appeared at theScore, ESPN and Puck Daddy. He was previously founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue. Contact him at jonathan (dot) willis (at) live (dot) ca.
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#51 Deep Oil
March 21 2009, 09:29PM
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David S wrote:

Jack “FMNF” Bauer wrote: I wonder how Mactavish feels when his superstar goalie is at Oil City after a game getting wasted and leaving with a couple of blondes on his arms. What’s with Oil City anyways? The place is a dive and yet it seems to be the team’s “after game practice” place of choice.

My villeneuve sources confirmed that Oil City is a dive, with free drinks for all on ice oil personnel. Sheldon is not impressed with what Edmonton has to offer the best dressed Oiler.

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#52 Merryj99
March 21 2009, 10:24PM
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DK0 wrote:

Jonathan Willis wrote: DWAYNE ROLOSON: DESTINED TO PLAY EVERY GAME BETWEEN NOW AND ELIMINATION? And you call yourself an Oilers fan… your supposed to be riding the OilFan rollercoaster of dizzying highs and soul crushing lows. The correct title of this article (given the current state of the team) is: “DWAYNE ROLOSON: DESTINED TO PLAY EVERY GAME BETWEEN NOW AND US WINNING THE STANLEY CUP?”

Good Call

I can see Roli playing every game from now on. He just seems to be getting better and better.

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#53 David S
March 21 2009, 10:33PM
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Slurve wrote:

David, are you out of your mind? On the contrary,you should keep up with the rest of us. The Oils organization screwed up with the 3 goalie system. All it did was limit practise and playing time for the goalies; and as well, it shorten the bench for a nongoalie roster player. They could have used that spot to test other AHL players. They could not send Deslaurier back to AHL without clearing waivers so they trade Garon away who could have made a better back up than the inexp. Deslaurier. Now they are hooped and they better pray that Rolli does not get injured playing over 26 consecutive games breaking Ranford’s record. They are in deep doo doo if they make it far into the playoffs. Rolli is no spring chicken at 39 and playing nonstop while facing over 30 shots on average per game. Dustin Penner was given a huge contract by Lowe to pry him out of Anaheim. Now Penner has to play like a guy worth 4.5 million in his 1st and 2nd year and as well be a physical force (as reiterated by MacT so often). Well Penner was not a physical force nor a fighter while in Anaheim (please check his stats in pim). SO we whip this Clydesdale into a thorougbred because of his contract, size and 29 goals in Anaheim. Lets face it, MacT has his favorites and not so fav. Penner gets the doghouse and has become MacT’s whipping boy on most nights.
No coach can stand a pro athlete playing beneath his potential. Dustin HAS proven he can play better, problem is he doesn't bring it every night. Know what? For $4.5 million he'd better show up. Bottom line, he plays to his potential (or at least tries) or he gets demoted. What part of that don't you get?
Schremp gets fewer breaks than Reddox. What in the hell is Reddox partnering with Hemsky when you have others with more scoring touch such as Pouliot, Nilsson, Gagner, Cogs, etc to play there.
Schremp got more than a few breaks. He blew them all with soft play. End of story. He's done. Sorry you have to get rid of your Rob Schremp sheets and lunch box. When you're on the bubble, coaches take it alot easier on you when you bust your tail like uhhh Reddox.
MacT’s system is quite perplexing most times. So david, you cannot be further fron the truth when you say it is not MacT’s fault. Your statements are idiotic to say the lease. Are you Kevin Lowe aka David S… lol
Perplexing to me as well. But I have no experience at the NHL level as a player or coach, nor do I have telepathic abilities to read his mind. I'd look kinda stupid spouting off about things I didn't actually know jack about. But I'm pretty sure pro coaches have reasons for what they do. Some things work out. Some don't. That's life and hockey is a game. No doubt MacT isn't perfect and the team has it's flaws. They'll probably have an epic fail in the first round of the playoffs. If you took a break from your FMNF love-ins with your crew in front of the MACs store, you'd realize that losing badly in the first round this year might be an important part of our young team's development because they'll never want to go through that humiliation again.
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#54 David S
March 21 2009, 10:34PM
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Sorry boys. I made a mess of the block quote thing.

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#55 David S
March 21 2009, 10:46PM
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BTW - I clicked on the Dub5 link by mistake. You've got the wrong web address. It should be: hxxp://dub5.net/

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#56 Zamboni Driver
March 21 2009, 11:08PM
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The real logic to me is that Roli will never ever get hurt.

Because he's a superhero. Sure, he's FRICKIN' 40, but no way he gets hurt.

And even if he did, I can't think of a possible situation in the past where having sh*tty/not ready backup goaltending has been a problem when The Oldie did get hurt.

No sir, not a one.

Oh no....wait, there was this once.......

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#57 Jonathan Willis
March 21 2009, 11:10PM
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@ volfman:

Out of curiosity, have you been doing a count? He's struggled of late for sure, and I'd like to compare what you've seen to what I've seen.

If not, it's cool; I'm mostly just curious since I've had a devil of a time watching games lately.

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#58 albundy
March 21 2009, 11:15PM
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Roli has to play. He has been by far the Oilers best player. Think of it this way, where would the Oilers be if Roil wasn't in net? I can't think of another Oiler player that is even close to the level Roli has played in the last month.

Gotta keep riding him now.

I can't believe the Jagr issued died so quickly. How can Steve and Kevin stand in front of the local media and say there were not interested in Jagr and then the storey breaks from Jagr himself saying that indeed they were after him. What gives, are we all forgiving Steve and Kevin lying to us, right to our faces??????? Help me understand

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#59 David S
March 22 2009, 12:03AM
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albundy wrote:

Roli has to play. He has been by far the Oilers best player. Think of it this way, where would the Oilers be if Roil wasn’t in net? I can’t think of another Oiler player that is even close to the level Roli has played in the last month. Gotta keep riding him now. I can’t believe the Jagr issued died so quickly. How can Steve and Kevin stand in front of the local media and say there were not interested in Jagr and then the storey breaks from Jagr himself saying that indeed they were after him. What gives, are we all forgiving Steve and Kevin lying to us, right to our faces??????? Help me understand

Deep Oil should be here any minute now.

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#60 Dan from Wainwright
March 22 2009, 02:03AM
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Roli is gonna carry this team on his back until the playoffs (yes, we will make the playoffs).

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#61 Phil
March 22 2009, 03:17AM
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Thanks for bringing that wonderful incite to the conversation Dan from Wainwright, lol.

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#62 Goal A Game Line
March 22 2009, 09:45AM
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If we don't make the playoffs and if MacT resigns or whatever what are the odds of him landing in Pho or NYR? I can see those 2 places as the strongest. And while we're on it when the hell is the Moose gonna get behind a bench (ass to start) or behind the scenes somewhere? Imagine if Lowe, MacT, Gretz and Mess all ended up here or in NY? It'd be neat to see if the dream team 2.0 would be a success or not.

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#63 Jonathan Willis
March 22 2009, 10:22AM
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@ Goal A Game Line:

If MacTavish quits, I'm fully prepared to launch an "anybody but Messier" campaign.

Besides, I think Messier's been linked to the GM job in New York.

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#64 albundy
March 22 2009, 11:21AM
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It would be a sad day if another ex Oiler became head coach. Why not take the approach of bringing in a coach that coaches the style of hockey the organization wants to play. If it's offense then bring in that type of coach, if it's the trap, bring in that type of coach,etc.....

I think MacT will be back for another year as the team will make the playoffs.

Still no comment on the Jagr issue,why?

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#65 Slurve
March 22 2009, 11:48AM
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@ David S:David, you are obviously wearing rose coloured glasses. The Schremp thing went south from the beginning when he was show boating in the shootout. I guess it speaks volume about his maturity. Schremp is a good skater according to Daum. MacT ripped Schremp on TV while he was still playing on the farm for being slow and soft (classy). Clearly, the problem lies in MacT 's chemistry with Schremp. Robbie doesn't get chances to learn in the NHL. Despite of the Oils record setting injuries in 2007-08 , it was only called up twice and once in 2006-07-pathetic. While others on the farm get more time and patience from the coach to learn in the NHL, Robbie gets the "Oliver Twist treatment"- a lot of time spent hoping but no breaks for a free meal.

As with Dustin Penner, MacT will bend him until he breaks if not he will continue to be his whipping boy then trade him. With some players you can embarrassed and ripped them out in public as well as sit them out hoping to get a positive respond. Well, Penner did not follow that path because he is trying to learn the MacT's system but apparrently not fast enough for MacT's liking. Public humiliation doesn't work for everyone. Pride and dignity seemed to get in the way.

So David (Staples?), perhaps you should hangout at the MAC store and read a little more. The FMNF love-in is just your fantasy in your head.

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#66 Goal A Game Line
March 22 2009, 01:19PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ Goal A Game Line: Besides, I think Messier’s been linked to the GM job in New York.

That rumour has been out for awhile but I wonder what keeps taking so long for him to step into something?

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#67 Jason Gregor
March 22 2009, 06:52PM
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Slurve wrote:

The Schremp thing went south from the beginning when he was show boating in the shootout. I guess it speaks volume about his maturity. Schremp is a good skater according to Daum.

I've had Daum on my show multiple times and never once has he said Schremp is a good skater. He said he needs to improve his footspeed, which isn't a shock to anyone who has watched him.

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#68 Slurve
March 22 2009, 09:34PM
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@ Jason Gregor:This was quoted from the Edmonton journal this morning March 22, 2009 article by Jim Matheson's Hockey World page C4. There was a quote from Daum regarding Schremp.

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#69 David S
March 22 2009, 11:52PM
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From LT's blog today...

"Daum (today's paper): "People talk about his poor skating, but he's not a poor skater, he's just not as aggressive as he should be when he doesn't have the puck. He has to reinvent himself."

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#70 Jason Gregor
March 23 2009, 11:00AM
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David S wrote:

Daum (today’s paper): “People talk about his poor skating, but he’s not a poor skater, he’s just not as aggressive as he should be when he doesn’t have the puck. He has to reinvent himself.”

He's not a poor skater. True, but Daum never says he is a GOOD skater. Schremp needs direction on what he NEEDS to work on, and he has be to receptive. He is combative to what coaches have told him since turning pro, but he also isn't the most eager beaver to put forth what they tell him.

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