Tag: Dwayne Roloson

Edmonton Oilers v New York Rangers

Don’t count out Nikolai Khabibulin


The Edmonton Oilers’ ideal plan likely revolves around Devan Dubnyk having a season as big as he is.

The Oilers of all teams should know that things rarely shake out ideally in the NHL, which is one of several reasons why the franchise would be wise to keep an eye on aging veteran Nikolai Khabibulin.

Here are some other reasons.

1. “Money” goalie

“The Bulin Wall” should not be taken lightly in a contract year.

He put up pretty good numbers during his time with the Tampa Bay Lightning, but the team won its surprising Stanley Cup when Khabibulin was in a contract year.*

The Chicago Blackhawks signed and then essentially gave up on him only to see Khabibulin usurp fellow conveniently hot netminder Cristobal Huet in his last contract year.

Much like Huet, Dubnyk’s track record is slim, so Khabibulin could snatch the job.

2. They already put up with his worst

Khabibulin sported a .890 save percentage in 2010-11 and dealt with embarrassing off-the-ice issues, but the Oilers stood by him anyway. Why not benefit from that patience, then?

3. Flashes of brilliance

As you may remember, Khabibulin started last season on fire. If nothing else, that could be evidence he might have one Dwayne Roloson in 2011-type run left in him.


Sure, he’s getting old and probably isn’t Edmonton’s first choice, but don’t be shocked if Khabibulin eventually ends up being the top guy for the Oilers next season.

* Also in contract years then: Brad Richards and Martin St. Louis. Hmm.


Is Devan Dubnyk the man?

Hemsky’s health could be a headache

Justin Schultz represents future of Oilers’ D

Poll: Who will win the Southeast Division?

Jordan Staal Eric Staal

The Southeast Division was the closest in the NHL last season, with only 12 points separating the last place Carolina Hurricanes and first place Florida Panthers. Going into the 2012-13 campaign, the race for the division title seems equally open.

So, as an extension of this being Lightning day, we’re passing along the question to you. However, before we do that, let’s take a quick look at the arguments for each team.

Why the Florida Panthers could win: They did it last season and have only gotten stronger. Yes, Jason Garrison’s gone, but Peter Mueller was a great diamond in the rough pickup and this might be the year that Jonathan Huberdeau breaks into the NHL. Who knows if they’ll end up acquiring Roberto Luongo, but their current combination of Jose Theodore and Scott Clemmensen, with Jacob Markstrom ready to take over should an injury occur, is pretty solid.

Why the Washington Capitals could win: If Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Green stay healthy, then the Capitals are a pretty imposing team. It would certainly help if Alex Ovechkin bounces back, but even in a bad season he gets 30-40 goals. They have a pair of promising young goaltenders in Braden Holtby and Michal Neuvirth. There’s also plenty to like about their summer acquisition of Mike Ribeiro and their decision to name Adam Oates as their new head coach.

Why the Tampa Bay Lightning could win: I don’t think I really need to sell you on Tampa Bay’s top-six forwards. Last season they bet on Dwayne Roloson having one more good year left in him and that didn’t work out. They’ve adapted over the summer by getting two young goaltenders in Anders Lindback and Riku Helenius. They also bolstered their defense to help balance the squad.

Why the Winnipeg Jets could win: The Jets were a team that had to make huge adjustments last season and that won’t be an issue this time around. They have two of league’s the best offensive defensemen in Dustin Byfuglien and Tobias Enstrom. Their top goaltender, Ondrej Pavelec, was terribly inconsistent last season, but he’s still young and might bounce back. Plus there’s always a chance that Evander Kane meshes with Olli Jokinen or just otherwise takes another step towards stardom.

Why the Carolina Hurricanes could win: Uniting Jordan and Eric Staal is a move that should pay dividends this season. Jordan has a lot of offensive potential and should shine if given the opportunity to play with his brother on the top line. Another one of their major off-season acquisitions, Alexander Semin, is more of a gamble, but if he bounces back after two rough seasons, then the Hurricanes will have a very effective one-two-three attack. That’s not even getting into their solid supporting cast led by Jeff Skinner and their goaltender Cam Ward, who was dominant after the All-Star break.

Anders Lindback hopes to be Tampa Bay’s savior in goal

Anders Lindback

When you look back on Tampa Bay’s history of goaltenders, it’s a rather suspect list of guys who have come, gone, and not lived up to expectations.

After seeing Dwayne Roloson look every bit of 42 years-old last season, the time was now for GM Steve Yzerman to make a move for the future. There, he found Anders Lindback via trade with Nashville and for Yzerman, he has high hopes that he’ll be the man to lead them back to the postseason.

The issue with Lindback, however, is we’re not all that sure what we’ll see out of him. He’s spent two seasons in the NHL backing up Pekka Rinne and in that time he’s played just 38 games. His career numbers are average with a .914 save percentage and a 2.53 goals against average. Stats like that would’ve put him outside the top 20 in the NHL.

Cause for concern? Not necessarily.

He’s just 24 years-old and he’ll have a Lightning team coached by Guy Boucher in front of him that has a stronger defense than what they had last season. Perhaps Lindback will see stronger numbers with the infamous 1-3-1 defense in front of him. Then again, maybe he’ll turn out as well as other goaltending experiments have in the past.

Offseason Report: Tampa Bay Lightning

Steven Stamkos, Martin St. Louis, Kelly Sutherland

From July 16-Aug 16, we’ll be profiling all 30 NHL teams by recapping what they did this offseason and previewing their upcoming campaigns.

2011-12 season

38-36-8, 84 points. 10th in Eastern Conference, third in Southeast Division.


Matt Carle, Anders Lindback (trade), Sami Salo, Matt Taormina, Benoit Pouliot, B.J. Crombeen (trade), Kyle Wilson (trade), Dmitry Korobov


Dwayne Roloson, Brett Clark, Bruno Gervais, Tim Wallace, Mike Commodore, Sebastien Caron (trade)

2012 Draft

10th overall – Slater Koekkoek (D – Peterborough – OHL)

19th overall – Andrei Vasilevskiy (G – Ufa 2 – Russia)

Looking back

The 2011-2012 season was an admitted let down for the Lightning after coming within one win of the Stanley Cup finals the year before.  While Steve Stamkos was his usual dominant self scoring 60 goals and finishing with 97 points, the area where Tampa got killed was in goal.

Dwayne Roloson and Mathieu Garon had fits where they couldn’t stop a beach ball and the team finished dead last in goals against (281). Even in a Southeast Division that was rather craptacular, that’s not going to get you anywhere. That made it tough to watch as goaltending is what helped the Lightning get as far as they did the year before.

Looking forward

Things are shaping up to be interesting this season, however. Adding Anders Lindback as their new No. 1 goalie puts the focus on goaltending right away. Lindback played for two seasons in Nashville while not getting much work behind Pekka Rinne. Can he prove to be a legitimate No. 1 guy?

Bringing back Matt Carle to help shore up the defense was a sneaky strike from GM Steve Yzerman as the defensive unit needed help. Sami Salo should help the power play out quite a bit as well.

Taking a flier on Benoit Pouliot to add to their top six will give them more speed and occasional goals while adding B.J. Crombeen to solidify the bottom six forwards will give them a bit more grit. With the improvements Washington and Carolina made this offseason, the Lightning hope to hang in that race for the top.

Have your say

Vote in our poll and let us know what you think of the Lightning’s 2012-13 outlook in the comments section.

It’s Tampa Bay Lightning day on PHT

Steven Stamkos

Welcome to our offseason initiative — 30 teams in 30 days.

From July 16 until Aug. 14, we’ll be dedicating each day to a new team by recapping the offseason and looking ahead to 2012-13.

There will also be a series of posts looking at key stories, player profiles and burning questions regarding each squad.

Today we continue with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

After falling one win short of the 2011 Stanley Cup finals, the Lightning fell far and hard last season.

Injuries and Dwayne Roloson’s pronounced regression fueled a rough season, prompting GM Steve Yzerman to make some substantial changes during this offseason.

The Bolts experienced a significant makeover which focuses primarily on stopping opponents from scoring goals.

In net, Mathieu Garon remains a safety net behind Anders Lindback – a young goalie whose thin resume and intriguing potential represents a complete 180 from Roloson.

Those two goalies should enjoy superior defensive support, too.

Yzerman landed one of the biggest free agent blueliners Matt Carle and also added fragile (but useful) defenseman Sami Salo from Vancouver.

Combine those additions with Victor Hedman’s development and life could be significantly easier for Lightning goalies.

PHT will examine multiple storylines to see where, exactly, those changes might place this team today.