SUN Hockey Pool

Planning the heist

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:35 AM ET

SAN JOSE -- It's time for Dwayne Roloson to put on his mask and commit a highly visible robbery.

That is the message from Edmonton Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish.

Trying to guide a team with almost no scoring punch - the Oilers have been outscored 24-5 in six straight losses - and little experience on the blueline, MacTavish is looking to Roloson to steal tonight's game against the San Jose Sharks.

"We need Roli to step up and have a big game for us - and win a low scoring game," said MacTavish.

"It is a tough task for the goalies knowing that if you let a couple in it is probably one too many.

"But at the same time it is there job to give us a chance to win regardless of the circumstance."

ROLOSON NOT FAZED

In what is maybe a good sign for the Oilers, Roloson isn't even remotely fazed or seemingly bothered by what his coach wants.

"You can't worry about that," said Roloson on the pressure.

"You got to focus on what you got to do and that is give your guys a chance to win.

"Sure there is a lot of pressure, but you have to put that aside and just do your job."

Besides a complete lack of offensive help, Roloson's job is made even more difficult by the fact he is playing behind a defensive crew with some very raw parts.

A goalie who communicates a lot with his defencemen, Roloson hasn't played a full game with Bryan Young and has very few games of experience with Dan Syvret.

"I don't think I am more vocal than I have been in the past," said Roloson.

"It's the other way where they (some players) don't know some of the lingo or they don't know to talk or they are a little scared or shy to talk. That makes it a little bit harder back there for everybody.

"You are playing with new guys and you don't know their tendencies: where they like the puck or where they don't want the puck."

But by leaning on Roloson tonight, MacTavish still isn't throwing his hands up in the air and giving up on his depleted but very ineffective forward lines.

Nobody needs to tell MacTavish that Toby Petersen and Fernando Pisani are the only two forwards who have scored goals on this six-game losing streak.

TRYING TO SHAKE FUNK

"We are trying more things in practice - more individual things, more discussion about spots in the net and what we want to try and accomplish when we do get to the net," said the coach, before pointing out specific examples. "Shooting for rebounds when we are off the angles. Deflections, screens - we have been going over and over that stuff."

To MacTavish it boils down to one thing: "You have to put the puck in a good spot.

"You can get lucky once in awhile. But you are never going to make a career off getting lucky."

In other news, Syvret is the latest Oiler to be suffering from the flu. He missed practice yesterday.

"He is having trouble keeping the fluids down," said MacTavish.

Jason Smith (banged up), Shawn Horcoff (resting a tender foot) and Petr Sykora (rest) also missed practice yesterday but are expected to play tonight.


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