Goalies forced to 'think big'

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:23 AM ET

Jeff Deslauriers is wearing the downsized goaltending equipment that is mandated by the NHL's new rule changes, but the six-foot-four, 195-pound rookie stopper still covers a lot of net.

"I practised my technique to try to be bigger in the net," Deslauriers said. "You have to deal with it."

Deslauriers has been working with a smaller trapper, blocker and leg pads for the last couple weeks in Quebec. The string bean from St-Jean-Richelieu is already comfortable in the new gear.

"After a couple of practices, it feels normal," he said. "It's more mental than anything."

STASTNY OUT: After an impressive rookie camp, centre Yan Stastny was forced into the role of spectator yesterday by a sprained right wrist suffered in Sunday's 5-4 loss to the Alberta Golden Bears.

Listed out day-to-day, Stastny is competing with fellow rookies Robbie Schremp, Marc-Antoine Pouliot and Brad Winchester for one of 14 roster spots at forward. With MacTavish looking to make some hard and fast decisions, being out even a couple days could cost Stastny the look he'll need to win a job.

AROUND THE RINK ... Moreau left yesterday's second session early complaining of a stiff neck. He'll be reassessed today ... Georges Laraque had lots of jump yesterday and looks lighter than the 249 pounds he weighed in at ... Moreau, Ty Conklin and captain Jason Smith showed up for opening day sporting the Patrick LaForge look with barely a bristle adorning their shaved domes.


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