Picking a checking centre who doesn't have a goal all year to take the decisive shot in a shootout is just asking for criticism.
And head coach Craig MacTavish got a whack of it from angry Oilers fans after selecting Marty Reasoner to take a must-score shootout attempt Wednesday in Denver.
Reasoner made a decent move, but hit the post, allowing the Avalanche to post a 4-3 win. If he had scored, it would have been a great hunch by the coach, but the miss leaves MacTavish wide open for second-guessing, especially since Reasoner had a bad game to begin with. He had one assist, one shot on net and was on the ice for all three Avalanche goals.
"It's obviously really frustrating, especially when you're not scoring and you're giving up goals," said Reasoner.
"It doesn't make for a very good night's sleep, that's for sure."
MacTavish said Reasoner's shootouts in practice, and the fact he scored the game-winning goal in a pre-season shootout in Phoenix, prompted the decision.
"He won the game for us in Phoenix," said MacTavish. "He looks good in practice. He missed on his last two, but he's got a good move."
YOUNG SENT DOWN
After giving him all of one shift in Denver, it was pretty clear MacTavish doesn't have any confidence in rookie defenceman Bryan Young. So the Oilers sent him to Springfield and recalled Allan Rourke, the six-foot-two, 215-pound defenceman acquired in a July swap of draft picks with the Islanders. Rourke has seven points and six penalty minutes in 12 games with Springfield.