Oilers’ power play failing to get it done
For a guy who was supposed to be the odd-man out when the season began,goaltender Dwayne Roloson won’t be going anywhere between now and theNHL trade deadline March 4.
For a guy who was supposed to be the odd-man out when the season began, goaltender Dwayne Roloson won’t be going anywhere between now and the NHL trade deadline March 4.
At the same time, the way things have been going, it’s too bad Edmonton Oilers’ GM Steve Tambellini doesn’t have the option of trading his entire power play because, frankly, it’s been horrendous lately.
While the 39-year-old Roloson did his part with 37 saves in Sunday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Minnesota Wild, the power play continued to be a liability. How so?
Well, while Sheldon Souray opened the scoring on a 5-on-3 man advantage, the Oilers gave up a short-handed goal, as Antti Miettinen put Minnesota up 2-1.
In seven games since the NHL all-star break, the Oilers have a grand total of three power-play goals. Worse, they’ve given up three short-handed goals. In other words, Edmonton’s 21st-ranked power play is only breaking even.
“Roli played great again,” said Sam Gagner, who scored his first goal in eight games to force overtime. Not so much the power play, again. After allowing the goal by Miettinen, the Oilers had a man-advantage late in regulation time that carried over to OT. No cigar.
“Obviously, we would like to have scored there,” Gagner said. “We had other opportunities during the game. We can’t dwell on those.”
Maybe not, but while Roloson has been playing his backside off, Craig MacTavish’s power play better get untracked, and the sooner the better, because breaking even with a man advantage won’t get this team into the playoffs.
KEEPS ON TICKING
Nice to see Bryan Hall, the voice of the Edmonton Eskimos since 1965, will be back behind the microphone for one more season as the Esks’ play-by-play man on 630 CHED and will have a role in choosing his successor. Hall has inked a four-year contract extension.
While Hall, 74, takes some ribbing around town for his commercial-laden broadcasts, he’s got those money-making spots because he can still sell like few others and he works longer hours than people half his age.
WHILE I’M AT IT
Petr Sykora, who just hit 20 goals for the 10th straight season, loved playing with Ales Hemsky and wanted to stay in Edmonton, but the Oilers let him get away. Now they’re paying Dustin Penner $4.25 million a season and looking for another top-line left-winger because it’s obvious Penner’s no fit with Hemsky.
– In a decade covering the Edmonton sports scene, Robin Brownlee has been the news-breaker and insightful voice for sports fans in Oil Country.