SUN Hockey Pool

Smid's still shut out

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:55 AM ET

ST. PAUL -- Ladislav Smid is now trailing Steve MacIntyre in goals this season, a stat that isn't lost on the big defenceman.

"That's messed up," said Smid, shaking his head in mock disbelief 24 hours after MacIntyre netted the first of his career on a long seeing-eye wrister from the point. "Why can't I get any goals like that?"

He can't get any, period. Smid has three assists to show for his first 28 games. He's the last Oiler with a goose egg in the goal column (Ryan Potulny doesn't count because he's only played two games).

Smid is pretty envious of MacIntyre's first NHL goal, which slid along the ice, somehow eluding 10 sets of legs and one goalie.

"I swear that puck went under the ice for about 20 feet and then came back up again in the net," said Smid. "I don't know, I guess he shoots more than me."

"I do have a higher shooting percentage," said MacIntyre.

No kidding. Smid's is zero (no goals on 14 shots) and MacIntyre is 100% (one shot, one goal).

WILD HAVE ROLI'S NUMBER

Dwayne Roloson started seven of Edmonton's eight games against the Wild last season, and didn't fare all that well against his old team. Roloson went 2-4-1 with a 3.78 GAA and .866 save percentage.

"That's funny because when I played in Minnesota it was totally the opposite, we never won against Edmonton," he said. "It goes to show that sometimes a team has your number ... but you can't really worry about it."

MacTavish isn't. He's leaning toward Roloson tonight and Mathieu Garon tomorrow in Colorado.

"(Roloson's record vs Minny) plays a little bit of a factor, but the current situation is that he's playing outstanding," said MacTavish, who watched him backstop Edmonton to a 3-0 lead while they were being outshot 22-10 in Washington. "And that supersedes any previous poor record against Minnesota."

BRODZIAK OWNS THE WILD

However, Kyle Brodziak owns Minny. He had six points in eight games last season.

"I know I had a couple of goals against them, but I didn't know it was that many points," said Brodziak, who had two assists against the Caps. "I can't even begin to explain how it happens like that against certain teams. Maybe you're more comfortable playing against certain teams. Hopefully I can do the same against them this year."

FINALLY, THEY MEET!

This is the first meeting of the season between Edmonton and Minnesota, which is crazy given that they're halfway through the season, but the NHL works in mysterious ways. Seeing as the two teams are tied in the standings with identical records, MacTavish sees this as the start of a season-long playoff series.

"If one of us finishes in (the playoffs) and the other finishes out, it'll probably be the one who wins the series," said MacTavish, adding the Oilers need to launch a major push before the all-star break. "We've got four games before the break and two of them are divisional games. Every win that we can get, building on our games above .500 going into the break, is going to be huge for us."


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