Roli left alone

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 10:18 AM ET

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Memo to the Edmonton Oilers: Just because you got a new goalie doesn't mean you get to stand around with your heads in your hockey pants waiting for him to win a game for you.

Pam Anderson would get more support from a training bra than Dwayne Roloson received from his new teammates yesterday in San Jose.

A game-long train wreck in their own end, the Oilers hung the new guy out to dry in a crushing 5-2 defeat at the Shark tank.

Welcome to the Oilers.

"We were sloppy, to say the least," said head coach Craig MacTavish, who watched his team give up three three-on-ones and a breakaway in the third period alone.

"We gave up more odd man rushes tonight than we have in a month. There must have been five three on ones, four two-on-ones and a two-on-0. No team is going to have any success playing that way."

Eight points up to start the night, it was a chance to see to it that the Sharks wound up sleeping with the fishes. Instead, San Jose is six back with two games in hand.

"We haven't played a game that bad in a long time," said Steve Staios, whose minus-2 was only the fourth-worst on the team.

"We've got bigger plans than the way that we played tonight. When you're playing a hungry team and making the mistakes that we did ..."

You get shelled 5-2.

Roloson, wearing Tommy Salo's old No. 35, knew it wasn't going to be an easy debut. And he was right. The Sharks, playing very much like a team with its season hanging in the balance, swarmed the Edmonton net all night. This wasn't the tight, defensively sound Oilers team he remembers playing against.

"I don't know the team well enough to give you a diagnostic solution to that," said Roloson, who faced 31 shots. "We gave up some odd-man rushes, which, from playing against these guys over the years, they never seemed to do. But as a goalie you have to try and battle through those and give your guys a chance to win."

For his part, Roloson was good, not great, although it's hard to tell what a new car looks like when the garage is on fire.

"It could have been 10-2," said MacTavish. "I thought he was really solid. I don't remember too many first shot goals that beat him. We couldn't have won that game with a four-by-six sheet of plywood."

Roloson didn't make any 5-star saves, but always seemed to be in the right place at the right time, square to the shooter. He did have some rebound control issues, though. San Jose's first two goals came on rebounds, but you can fault the Oil defence for not clearing the crease area, as Patrick Marleau and Milan Michalek were untouched when they tapped home their second period markers at 1:01 and 11:26. He also got lucky when San Jose rang one rebound off the post and another popped 10 feet in the air, hit him in the back and somehow managed to stay out.

"I felt all right," he said. "It's been a while since I played and the rebounds were a little shaky. Those are the little things I have to work on. Those are the things you get used to, rebounds and scrambles and things like that."

As for the Sharks, they're not dead yet.

"We're in a very tough situation right now," said defenceman Kyle McLaren. "This was a big game for us right there. We can still make it, but it's going to be tough."

LATE HITS: Jarret Stoll and Raffi Torres scored for Edmonton ... Ryan Smyth, Shawn Horcoff and Ales Hemsky were each minus-3.


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