Oilers goalie shoulders blame for latest loss

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:25 AM ET

EDMONTON — Jeff Deslauriers stood up and took the blame for the Edmonton Oilers loss Saturday in San Jose.

That in itself reveals something about the goaltenders character.

And while he probably would have liked to have at least a couple of them back in the 4-1 loss to the Sharks, Deslauriers can hardly be pinned for the predicament the Oilers currently find themselves in.

“You’re going to have nights like that when he’d want two or three of those back,” said Oilers centre Shawn Horcoff.

“But you have to stick with him when he has a night like that. He’s our teammate, you have to try and lift him up ... and just be positive.”

Having taken over the starting role for Nikolai Khabibulin and his bad back, Deslauriers has played admirably.

He was outstanding in a 3-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs last week and followed that up with another great performance in a 2-1 loss to the Calgary Flames.

With no timeframe on Khabibulin’s return, it’ll be Deslauriers who will carry the ball for the Oilers exclusively.

“He’s in a tough situation,” Horcoff said. “He’s playing a lot of games, playing a lot of nights. He’s probably not used to that, he’s never had to do that before and probably his body is adjusting. But for us as a team, we’re sticking by him, he’s proven to us that he can be a really good goalie and when he’s on his game, he’s giving us a chance to win and that’s all you can ask for.”

derek.vandiest@sunmedia.ca


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