Despite the last two rough starts by Deslauriers, be thankful Oil fans that we have a team that has little to worry about our goaltending in the years to come. Smack dab in the middle of a 5 game home stand the Oilers, whom have been mediocre at best for what seems like an eternity, came into the game tonight against the Coyotes in need of someone, anyone, to steal a game for them. Again, thankyou Deslaurier.
Deslauriers, who tonight made 36 saves for his first NHL shutout, was the story for the Oilers. It would be easy to overlook the effort made by the young backup goaltender with the four goals scored by the Oilers, but tonight..... Deslauriers stole the show.
The last two games against Colorado and Chicago, Deslaurier had let in some early goals that put his team behind the eight ball very early. In fact, against Chicago, Deslauriers had let in 4 goals on 9 shots, but seemed to settle in a bit after that. Tonight, Phoenix came out firing at the net, but Deslauriers held his ground early stopping all 13 first period shots, and found himself and his team ahead by three after one.
Give Edmonton credit, they burried the puck with the chances they had.....something they have had problems with in the past. But even more-so, give Deslauriers even more credit. It could have been very easy for him to come out in the second period with the three goal lead and back off his game a bit....who knows, one early goal in the second could have completely changed the whole course of the game. But he gave a full effort tonight and really earned the goose egg, and most likely a bit more confidence in his game.
In the 630 CHED post game, Deslauriers was asked about his mentality in the game. To his credit, he did whatever he could to not think about the score in the game, but just to make every save that he could. He was focussed, preparred, and up for the challenge. Take note Oilers, you were outshot, and outworked. But on a night when you desparately needed a win, your backup stole one for ya. Thanks Deslauriers.