Who Is Better? Roloson or Deslauriers?

In Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers' only preseason start so far this season he looked impressive. On the front page of The Edmonton Journal it read something like, Oilers goalie puts together star performance. He has yet to play a single second of a regular season NHL game but I firmly believe he's a legit backup. Roloson and his $3.66M cap hit is unattractive not only to us but to every other team in the league.

But after Deslauriers' impressive preseason performance, I started thinking, is Deslauriers better than Roloson?

He is the future of Oilers goaltending (with Devan Dubnyk) but many dub him has a career backup. He's only 24 years-old and I'm sold that he's already a backup. So if he continues to grow, he could become a legit starter once Garon doesn't have any gas left in the tank.

Roloson is the past of Oilers goaltending. He lead the Oilers to a Cup Finals appearance but hasn't done much since. He could barely hold a 0.900 save percentage last season.

Deslauriers was put behind a terrible Falcons defense last season and took tonnes of shots. He always comes out of the gate fast but he always seems to wear down. As a backup he's not gonna have to play as many games and he can play the way he does at the beginning of each season for a full season with the Oilers.

Roloson was put behind a terrible Oilers defense in 2006-07 but this season, Garon proved that he was better than Roloson.

So who is the better goalie?

I truly believe that Deslauriers will have a higher save percentage (in around the same number of games as Roloson) but Roloson could win more games.

Roloson is a game-breaker. When we really need to win, Roli can turn it on and deliver a 35 save shutout. But if we don't really need to win, he lets in 4 goals on 25 shots. Because not only did he take us, the Oilers to the Cup Finals but he also led a mediocre Minnesota Wild team to the Conference Championships a little while back. He would be a great pickup at the deadline for a lot of teams that are looking to go far in the playoffs.

But in my opinion, Roloson needs to show up every night, and he's failed to do so. Therefore, Deslauriers should rightfully take his spot in the Oilers lineup. It's about time we developed a goaltender rather than just signing a backup and hoping he works out or trading for a mediocre goaltender and hope he works out.

Since the Tommy Salo era (pre-2002 Olympics), we haven't had a legit #1 guy until Garon. We don't want to have to keep giving up assets to get goaltenders, so we might as well give Deslauriers a chance to develop.

Right now, if I'm the Oilers, Roloson is as good as gone. He should be sitting in the press box on MOST nights. But that's just my opinion.

Guillaume Lefevbre

This guy came out of the LNAH and has made it further than former 1st rounder Ryan O'Marra, former 2nd rounder Colin MacDonald and many others. He's made it pretty far in Oilers camp. He looked pretty impressive in the game against Florida and put up a legit fight. What more would you expect from a guy from the LNAH?

Is the Penner-Pisani-Moreau Line Really Working?

To me, this line isn't really working. They don't have a real center and they just don't have chemistry together. I would much rather see someone else in the middle and move Moreau down to the fourth line.

As I said earlier, we could turn this third line into an offensive line by adding Rob Schremp into the mix.


Their obvious weakness would be speed but it would be an okay offensive threat. If you inserted Pouliot or Potulny into the center position it could be used as a checking line with okay offense.

But Penner-Pisani-Moreau is a little bit of a mismatch. Pisani is a decent grinder that could potentially score 20 goals. Penner is a big guy and can be an offensive threat IF he's put with the right players. And Moreau is a good energy player that can be an effective checker.

In my opinion, Penner is almost useless if he doesn't have a good playmaker.

So, here is what I hope will happen. MacT will have to split up the Kid Line at some point in time. Penner and Gagner already had chemistry from the powerplay. It seems reasonable that a Penner-Gagner-Nilsson line could be a legit scoring threat. And a Cogliano-Brodziak-Pisani line could be a legit checking line which can pitch in a goal here and there.

As I have said before, I see no reason to split up Penner from Horcoff and Hemsky because of their chemistry. In my perfect world as of right now, MacT would ice this lineup on opening night:

Brule/Potulny/Pouliot (only one of them)



Brule should be sent down to make room for three goaltenders as he does not have to clear waivers. But we will see what MacTavish and Tambellinni decide to do.


First to Third, The Dustin Penner Story

The offersheet to former Anaheim Duck, Dustin Penner was one of the most controversial moves in the 2007 off season. He was brought into the Oilers organization to bring some offense as well as some size. He lead the Oilers in goals last season while on the first line with Shawn Horcoff and Ales Hemsky. But this year he finds himself on the third line, with the emergence of Andrew Cogliano and Sam Gagner, as well as their chemistry, Penner seems to be the odd man out.

He is supposed to be on the 3rd line with Ethan Moreau and Fernando Pisani. No real playmakers.

But look at his statistics closer. Out of the 23 goals he scored, 13 of them were on the powerplay. And this season I fully expect him to be on the first powerplay unit with Ales Hemsky and one of, Shawn Horcoff or Sam Gagner.

So will I expect a decrease in points. Likely. Will I expect a decrease in goals. Likely not. If Penner can play as well as he did at the end of last season he should at least be in contention to be the first line winger that he was brought in to be.


Roy't to Do

Matthieu Roy is probably the #8 defenseman on the Edmonton Oilers' depth chart and he is on a one-way contract. If the Oilers only plan on carrying 12 forwards, he has a chance of staying in the pressbox. But with all the talented forwards coming into this camp, there will be at least 13 forwards by the end of training camp. So where does Roy fit? What's his trade value at?

Probably quite low but a team like the Blue Jackets might take him as a cheap number six/seven defenseman. But he will more than likely clear waivers. He is on a one-way contract, which is unattractive to a lot of the lower spending teams, and the only thing he has done in the NHL is get injured.

What do we do?

He is a good guy to have for depth purposes so I would hope he could clear waivers to play in Springfield. Otherwise, it's not really a big loss of he gets claimed off waivers, or traded for a prospect/pick.


Would Deslauriers Really Clear Waivers?

I have been discussing how the three goalie system could work against players such as Rob Schremp and Gilbert Brule. It could also work against the Oilers. Marc Pouliot or Ryan Potulny could get outperformed in camp. They would respectively be 13/14 on the Oilers depth chart, but would have to get sent down to the minors through waivers, and possibly get claimed. We have invested 4 years of development in Jeff Deslauriers, we will not give him up for nothing. But do teams really want him?

He has yet to play a single second in the NHL. He wasn't THE BEST goalie in the AHL, although he was up there. JDD got a huge workload in the AHL, but just sitting him up with the big club could really hurt his development.

We really do have a goaltender controversy now. It's not like in 2005 where it was, Conklin or Markkanen. It's who's going to be the backup. The old experienced veteran, or the new kid on the block.

I'm obviously not a GM so I would have no clue if JDD would clear waivers. But I really think he would. He's on a one-way deal and hasn't proven that he is better than any other backup in the NHL.

So what do we do? We have to trade one of JDD or Roloson. For me, it would be Roloson. This year, could be a good year for rebuilding. We could have a lot more prospects develop in the NHL, and in 2-3 years prove to be contenders. But is their a market for Roloson? Doubt it. In an ideal situation we would trade one of them for a draft pick and life goes on.

The Oilers need to waive Roloson. Hopefully he gets claimed by LA in hopes they can reach the cap floor. If not, put him on re-entry waivers, then I'm sure someone will take him. $1.8M for a proven goaltender with playoff experience, a lot of teams will jump on that, like Chicago (looking for a cheaper backup). We get the monkey off our back and it's all good.

The Annual Rob Schremp Debate

Is he good enough to make the team? This has been the question since Rob Schremp was 19-years-old. Obviously, that year he got sent back to the OHL. It gave him the inside track when he was 20-years-old but he still couldn't make it. Last season, he was recovering from a knee injury but got a good two games and around five minutes of ice time last season after an early season call-up.

This year. No injury. No attitude (apparently). All conditioning. Rob was training extremely hard this offseason so he could make the team. But what are his chances at making it?

The competition seems tough this season. With Ryan Potulny, Marc Pouliot, Zack Stortini and Gilbert Brule also looking for a spot on the roster, it doesn't look easy for Schremp. All of them have legit NHL experience, something Schremp doesn't have. So does adding Schremp make our team better?

Rob Schremp has great hands, is a great passer and has a cannon. If the Oilers did not have a few powerplay specialists, I would likely say he makes our team better. But with Visnovsky, Souray, Hemsky and Gagner, Schremp looks like a nobody. He's not really a gritty player like, Brule and isn't exactly the most responsible in his own end (Pouliot and Potulny are both great in their own ends), and he's not as physical as Brule or Stortini, everyone else in contention for a spot is faster than him, with the exception of Stortini, but Stortini is already in the Oilers' good books with his work ethic. With the addition of Erik Cole, it doesn't look as if we will need more scoring. So what does Schremp need to do to make the team?

Well, he has to prove he's not a sieve defensively. If he's okay defensively but plays a great offensive game he will make MacTavish think twice. But where does he fit? He would essentially replace Horcoff on the 2nd powerplay unit. But would he be on the 4th line? Or would he turn the 3rd line into another secondary scoring line.

If he were to make the roster, he would really have to impress, in my opinion. He doesn't have an edge on Potulny or Stortini or even Brule. But he would be a nice addition to the lineup.

The line combo I see him on is:

or Schremp-Penner-Pisani

Either way I think that they are a good mix of everything.
Penner would provide the strength and goal scoring ability that would complement Schremp.
Schremp would provide set-ups for both Penner and Pisani.
And Pisani will provide a solid defensive presence as a forward as well as take feeds from Schremp possibly netting him 20 goals.

It looks good, but with Potulny and Pouliot both on one-ways and both having to clear waivers, as well as the Oilers likely starting the year with three goalies. It would only leave us with 6 defensemen. But I believe we have 7 NHL-calibre defensemen. The only one that doesn't have to clear waivers is Smid. And he wasn't the most impressive last season. Strudwick provides some toughness if Stortini isn't playing.

All the pieces would seem to fall in place. But the three goalie system really limits the Oilers in terms of skaters.

I hope that Rob will make the team, to give him some experience and to upgrade our secondary scoring as well as our powerplay.