Edmonton Oilers Season Preview Part One: Everything Starts in the Crease

Salim ValjiCorrespondent ISeptember 17, 2008

Everything starts in the crease, and in Edmonton, everything starts with Matthieu Garon and Dwayne Roloson.


It seems as though Garon will enter the season as the starter, with Roloson as an adequate veteran backup. Regardless of how these two played the final part of the regular season, Edmonton is still below average in net.


Garon is no more than a 1-B starter deserving of not more than 35-50 starts. This season, he could start up to 60 games; far too much for a netminder of his ability.


He has outstanding lateral movement and a bounce-back ability, but he cannot handle 60 games; it's just a fact. The season in which he played the most games was in 2005, when his goals-against average was 3.22 and his save percentage was under .900. And he's not getting any younger.


Some may say that last season he fully matured into the starting goalie everyone thought he was when Montreal drafted him 44th overall way back in 1996, but last season he only played in 47 games. He is nothing more than a 1-B goalie.


If he sees under 55 games, count on a .900 save percentage; if over that, don't count on a very successful postseason run (if they even make it).


Dwayne Roloson has, over a span of two-and-a-half years, gone from zero to hero back to zero and up to somewhere in between. This season, he should see 20-30 games, and it's anyone's guess as to how he'll fare.


Roloson got off to a horrible start last season, but ended on a high note. The Oilers aren't expecting much out of him, just to keep the team in games long enough. If Matthieu Garon tires out and Roloson is expected to start a healthy portion of games, watch out. It could either go over spectacularly or be a train wreck; you just don't know with Rolly. 


The third-string goalie, Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers, makes for an interesting situation. Not once has he started an NHL game, and he has spent the past four years in the minors. Overall, he looks technically sound, and has great size for a goalie; however, his glove seems to be his biggest weakness, along with the mental aspects of his game.


Unfortunately, the Oilers don't seem to be sold on this young man, so don't look for him to get much of a shot at playing this year.  



Overall Grade:  C+



Part 2:  Defensemen


Part 3:  Forwards


Part 4:  Future Watch/Springfield Falcons report


Part 5:  Everything Else