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05-29-2011, 03:26 PM
  #118
LateNightOilerFan
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So how ready are your goalie prospects? I know Desjardins played a couple NHL games before the Roli trade and did very well and then didn't hear much about how he was doing after his shoulder injury. He's had lots of AHL time, what are the odds of him being re-signed by the Bolts and ready to make the move to the NHL next year? Or would Tokarski be more likely to stick with the big club out of camp?

One thing I noted was how well Smith played after he seemingly accepted his role as a backup/ was humbled by the demotion, etc. He really was the perfect backup, able to come in when he was needed to give Roli relief. Listening to his quotes he seemed to value the guidance and mentorship Roli gave him, and Roli talked about how proud he was of him. Just seems to me it was a pretty decent relationship and if kept together could really benefit the Bolts for another solid year including a deep playoff run.

As far as Roli is concerned, he certainly had the mindset the Bolts needed in goal for a deep playoff run. Even though he did tire in Round 3 (I thought he was injured) he proved if handled correctly, as Boucher did, that he could shake that off and regain that mental strength when it was needed. There's nothing else he could have done that 7th game. What really sucks in my opinion, and this comes from watching Roli play a lot against the Canucks, is he would have been solid again like in Rounds 1 & 2, had they made it through. It's like he had that struggle for a few games and then came back even stronger. I've seen him do that and then go for another fantastic stretch of play once he's battled through it.

But looking forward, Vokoun and Bryzgalov will be the most sought after UFA starters and I honestly don't know if they can bring it in the playoffs mentally like Roli did. Roli and Smith in known roles may actually be a more stable alternative next season. The kicker is they aren't long term solutions. As a Roli fan though, I can tell he really enjoyed being part of this team and he really connected with Boucher, so I hope he gets re-signed by the Bolts for another year or two.

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