(A mic’ed up Dwayne Roloson from a few seasons back)
It’s like déjà-vu all over again.
It was no surprise when a member of the Edmonton Oilers coaching staff told me Thursday it’s likely Dwayne Roloson will start against the Colorado Avalanche tonight, then grab some shut-eye and be back in the four-by-six Saturday in Calgary.
That’ll make it nine straight starts for the 38-year-old stopper, but with Mathieu Garon still not ready after taking a cortisone shot in the ankle even though he’s, ahem, NOT INJURED, coach Craig MacTavish has to put the arm on Dwayne Albert to suck it up.
No worries. Roloson pulled double duty just ten days ago when he stiffed Coyotes in Phoenix 5–2 with 38 saves March 15 before following up with a 48-save encore in a 2–1 win in San Jose 22 hours later.
For history geeks, these back-to-backers against the Colorado and Calgary come two years, almost to the day, after Roloson beat the Canucks in Vancouver and the Avs on consecutive nights in 2006.
First, Roloson bettered Alex Auld to backstop a 3–2 win at GM Place March 23. Here’s the top of that game story…
“By ROBIN BROWNLEE
VANCOUVER—Staring at three consecutive losses in a season-swinging series with the Vancouver Canucks and called out by GM Kevin Lowe, the Edmonton Oilers filed out of the dressing room last night acutely aware of the task at hand and what was at stake.
Win in regulation, and they’d mitigate 4–1 and 4–3 shootout losses to the Canucks and break even by scratching out three of a possible six points, pulling even with them in Western Conference playoff standings.
Lose, and the Oilers would fall four points back and, like so many seasons past, be fighting for their playoff lives with 11 games to go as they hopped a flight for Denver and a date with the Colorado Avalanche tonight.
They responded with their best effort of the pivotal trifecta, and by packing the two points they desperately needed with them on the way to the Mile High City with a 3–2 victory.
Desperation looked good on them.”
The next night in Denver, the Oilers improved to 36-24-12 as Roloson made 31 saves in his tenth straight start in a 4–3 shootout win. Again, the top of the game story…
“By ROBIN BROWNLEE
DENVER—Ty Conklin got to the Mile High City about ten hours ahead of Dwayne Roloson and the Edmonton Oilers, but when the puck dropped at the Pepsi Center last night, Roloson was making his tenth straight start and Conklin was on the bench.
It turned out Conklin was sent ahead to sit as Roloson, apparently immune to sleep depravation and coming off a 3–2 win against Vancouver Saturday, convinced coach Craig MacTavish he was good to go against the Colorado Avalanche—even if his head didn’t hit the pillow until 4am.
Roloson looked wide-awake and on top of his game, not to mention stylish after finally getting his new mask in Oiler colours. Surprisingly, so did most of his teammates, who resisted the Sandman and the Avs on the way to an eye-opening 4–3 shootout win.
I’m assured Roloson was showing no ill-effects at practice Thursday after getting squashed by Minnesota meathead Derek Boogaard in Wednesday’s 3–1 loss to the Wild, so he’s good to go—two times.
—Listen to Robin Brownlee every Thursday from 4 to 5pm on Total Sports with Bob Stauffer on Team 1260.