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Tampa Bay Lightning

Bolts' Roloson upbeat despite dismal numbers

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Published:   |   Updated: March 21, 2013 at 11:28 AM
TAMPA -

Everything Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Dwayne Roloson is doing these days feels good. His play during games, however, has been anything but.

In fact, over the past month, Roloson's numbers have dipped to the bottom of the league.

As of Tuesday, Roloson's 3.67 goals-against average ranked 68th out of 71 goaltenders, while his .882 save percentage ranked next-to-last among goaltenders with at least 10 starts, ahead of only Columbus' Steve Mason.

Since beating Pittsburgh 5-1 in a 33-save performance, Roloson has lost five consecutive games, allowing four or more goals in all but Monday's loss to New Jersey, when he was pulled in the first minute of the second period after allowing three goals on 12 shots.

"(Monday) night I felt great. Ottawa I felt great. Detroit I felt good. I feel good, it's just things are finding ways in right now,'' said Roloson, 42. "There are ways you can analyze everything and come up with a reason, but if you keep trying to find something it becomes mind-boggling and things get worse. In looking at video, things look good, it's just circumstantial and things are going in.''

The coaching staff is trying to allow Roloson to work out whatever kinks are in his game. But he has started just three of the past 10 games and figures to serve as the backup to Mathieu Garon on Thursday when the Lightning host Calgary.

As the losses continue to pile up, results are becoming more paramount. While the team wants to be patient with Roloson in the hope he can rekindle the magic from the second half of last season, finding him the playing time while trying to win games is becoming increasingly difficult.

"We know his game can be (better) and I think it will, he just needs to make sure his attitude remains a positive one, and it has been,'' Lightning head coach Guy Boucher said. "There are not many issues. He's just having a tough time. I still have confidence that he will find his way back. He's very professional and he can't care more than that.''

Roloson works as hard as anybody on the team. He puts the time in during practice, works with video coach Frantz Jean extensively, on the ice and in the video room, and knows he is counted on.

"Most of the time, when you get into a stretch of games where one goaltender is struggling, we are always trying to find the answer and a lot of times there is not one,'' Jean said. "A lot of times it's just a question of keeping working, coming to the rink with a positive attitude and leaving the bag of bricks at the door.

"At some point, things start to turn around. When you are struggling, when you are having a few bad games, it seems every shot is tougher and a little more difficult. But at one point you get that one period or that one game where you start to feel a little more comfortable and you get somewhat of an easier game and then things start shifting the other way.''

Roloson is still trying to find that moment or game to turn the tide. He's had some solid outings — the victory against Pittsburgh on Nov. 17 and a 1-0 shutout of Winnipeg on Oct. 29 — but has yet to string together more than one or two games to build momentum.

"The confidence level is fine, and I think as a goalie if you lose it then things can get really bad,'' Roloson said. "You always have to feel confident, and I am confident. I feel good in practices, and (Tuesday) I felt great, was seeing the puck well. It was just circumstantial factors and the puck went in the net.

FLAMES AT LIGHTNING

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Bolts lose Miettinen to Jets, Page 3


"I think if you look at games from last year, those bounces probably don't happen. Have I changed anything? No. I think just a lot of it is things are just happening right now and I have to focus on the things you can control and don't worry about the things you can't.''

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