MacT playing hunch on Morrison

SCOTT ZERR -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:08 AM ET

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Craig MacTavish and Danny Maciocia have both made up their minds.

The three-goalie scenario brought about the question of similarities in the situations of the Oilers and Edmonton Eskimos with both teams having a glut of personnel in key positions.

MacTavish has let Jussi Markkanen carry the bulk of the load lately although he was spelled off by Mike Morrison twice with wins both times. Maciocia has run with Ricky Ray despite the two episodes of late-game heroics courtesy Jason Maas.

RIDDEN ALL YEAR

The Oiler bench boss will likely go with Morrison tonight against the Minnesota Wild, giving the Edmonton Oilers' netminder his third start of the season and back-to-back outings following his 21-save effort against San Jose on Monday. He's playing a hunch, while Maciocia is going with the guy he has ridden all year.

Any second-guessing from MacT?

"I know enough about football to know that I don't know enough about football to make any type of comment," chuckled the Oil bench boss. "I think the similarity ends with that it's the most important position on the field and the ice. You've got to have confidence to play any position in football or hockey."

Morrison's work, both as a starter and reliever, made the coach's decision a no-brainer.

"It's going to be easy to play him again," said MacTavish. "His numbers are good and we'll see how far he can take us. He gave us what we thought he would with his style of play. It was a great performance."

CRITICAL SAVE

Morrison made a critical save off Patrick Marleau in overtime and then turned aside two Sharks in the shootout.

"I just wanted to stay calm and be as big as possible," he said.

Markkanen is a good bet to be back in against Calgary on Friday, while Ty Conklin is still not ready to play. Since yesterday was Morrison's 30th day with the team, the Oilers risk losing him on waivers if he is assigned to the minors.

IT AIN'T PRETTY: A host of poor or mishandled passes combined with the Sharks' grinding ways made for an unattractive game Monday.

"At times we weren't very patient and we made a lot of errors, but the win was all that mattered," said Shawn Horcoff.

"If you only win the games you deserve to win, you're not going to win too many. We didn't play our best, but it's a good thing to learn how to win when you're not at your best."


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