Coach has tough choice

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:36 AM ET

He could agonize over it for hours.

Or he could flip a coin.

Either way, Craig MacTavish doubts he could come up with a wrong answer when it comes to his starting goalie for tonight's showdown with the Vancouver Canucks.

Mathieu Garon has been unbelievable this season, posting 26 wins, a 2.66 GAA and a .913 save percentage.

Dwayne Roloson just won three in a row.

Garon's won three of his last four starts against the Canucks, including 1-0 and 2-1 decisions but hasn't played since getting the hook eight days ago in Colorado.

Roloson was good, not great in the 8-4 win over Phoenix, but has plenty of experience in big games. What's a coach to do?

"Both goalies are playing very well, I'm comfortable with both guys," said MacTavish. "Right now I'm in a position where there's no wrong decision ... till after the game."

If they lose he'll be second guessed no matter who he starts, so there's no sense worrying about that. MacTavish does, however, have a checklist he'll use to determine who's in.

"You factor in as much of the criteria as you can and try and spit out the answer," he said. "It's maybe not as difficult as one would imagine given the set of circumstances that we're presented (with) right now."

Roloson and Garon say they haven't been told who's starting, and MacTavish wasn't about to tell the media, although he does put a lot of stock in Roloson's ability to get on a roll.

"When his game gets to that level he can run a number of games off and he's right in the process of doing that."

Both of them would welcome the call, and whoever doesn't get it will bite his lip and be a good soldier.

"It's out of my hands," said Roloson. "Whoever starts, we're going to do whatever it takes to try and win a hockey game, put the team first."

With 26 goals scored in their last six games, it's a much easier team to play goal for now than it was at the start of the year, when they scored 25 goals in a 13-game stretch.

"At the beginning of the year things were happening that weren't helping matters," Roli said. "Now we're scoring goals. We're outscoring the other team, where before we weren't able to do that."


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