SUN Hockey Pool

Stoll getting tired of watching his sticks turn into kindling

DEREK VAN DIEST

, Last Updated: 7:38 AM ET

In fairness, a lot of sticks would probably have snapped under the circumstance.

But it happened to be Jarret Stoll's stick.

And it occurred while the Edmonton Oilers were two-men short and cost them a goal.

"With anybody else, you're thinking it's a slapshot and it's an unfortunate stretch of bad luck," said Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish.

"But you have to question the strength of the shaft of his stick. You don't want to take away one of a guy's best assets, which is his ability to shoot the puck. That stick is built with that sole purpose in a lot of ways and it's a matter of trying to get some semblance of a compromise."

In Friday's 4-1 loss to the Dallas Stars, Stoll's stick snapped in half after being hit with a Mike Modano slap shot from the point. At the time the Oilers were two men short and the Stars went on to eventually score the go-ahead goal.

It's not the first time Stoll has broken a stick at an inopportune time.

In January, his stick snapped in half during a shootout attempt in Washington.

"It's an issue," admitted Stoll.

"But these ones are holding up better than any of the other ones have ever held up. I think (Friday) night was a case that any stick is going to break in that situation.

"Taking a slapshot from Modano in the shaft of a stick, it's going to break."

Stoll is trying to find a suitable stick that won't end up in two pieces.

He's changed manufacturers, and has tried different flexes in an attempt to fix the problem.

"I don't know how many companies I'm going to have to go to," Stoll said. "But I'm trying to figure it out."

MacTavish is getting tired of seeing Stoll snapping so many sticks. But he's not ready to demand the player find a better alternative.

"I used to kind of shake my head when Slats (Glen Sather) would go around grabbing guys sticks and telling them what to use, because the sticks are such an integral part of you as a player," he said.

"It's so important on your feel with the puck, that I've really been reluctant to make anyone change their pattern.

"But there comes a point where you have to have a rational approach to it and make sure the sticks aren't breaking."


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