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Educated guess: struggling Tampa Bay Lightning G Dwayne Roloson starts Saturday against the Jets

27

October

There has not been an official announcement, but reading between the lines it sounds as if Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Dwayne Roloson will start Saturday against the Jets at the St. Pete Times Forum. It will be Roloson's first start since Oct. 17 when he allowed seven goals on 33 shots in a 7-4 loss to the Panthers. It was the third of three games in which he allowed 17 goals combined.

Coaches did not address when Roloson will play but they gave every indication he was ready. The key to making that evaluation, goaltenders coach Frantz Jean said, was how Roloson was playing in practice.

"He's been very good in practice the last week and a half," Jean said. "I think he's ready to go. We feel very comfortable putting him into the net at any time. Sometimes you just need to go back to some basic elements and put in some repetition."

Roloson, 42, the game's oldest player has a 5.09 goals-against average that entered Thursday is last among the 61 goalies listed by the league. His .858 save percentage was 55th. On the other hand, Mathieu Garon, who has won three straight since taking over for Roloson, was seventh in the league entering Thursday with a 1.78 goals-against average and tied for seventh with a .942 save percentage. During his three-game winning streak, Garon had a 1.33 goals-against average and a .948 save percentage.

That said, coach Guy Boucher has been adamant Roloson still is the No. 1.

As for Roloson, he said, too, he believes he is ready to go after concentrating in practice on improving his movement and footwork, which he said are back to "normal."

"I'm really anxious to get back in and play," he said. "I had time to work on a lot of stuff. I'd like to see it in a game and see where we're at."

[Last modified: Saturday, November 26, 2011 12:28am]

    

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