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Sunday, May 1, 2011
Bolts-Caps pregame report: Roloson ageless in net for Tampa Bay

By Scott Burnside


WASHINGTON -- Lightning goalie Dwayne Roloson was giving us the gears because we used the term "ancient" in discussing his age.

So, we suggested "historic" might be a better term, and while the 41-year-old did flash a grin, Roloson insisted he doesn't get bugged by regular references to his age when it comes to the media.

"No, not at all, but it's probably the first I've had ancient thrown into an interview," Roloson said. "To me, it's a number; it's a number and it doesn't matter. People can say whatever they want. To me, it doesn't make a difference at all."

Still, he did admit he can't recall the last time his age hasn't come up in some fashion while talking with reporters. Regardless of the calendar, Roloson has been outstanding this spring.

Roloson enters Sunday's Game 2 coming off a fine 26-save performance in Game 1 of Tampa Bay's second-round series against Washington, a 4-2 Bolts victory. In eight playoff games this spring, he has a sparkling .947 save percentage. Throw in the fact that Roloson is in the postseason for the first time since leading Edmonton on an improbable run to the 2006 Stanley Cup finals, and you might think he is viewing this playoff experience with some sort of special fondness.

Not so.

"I don't think it's any different from training camp on ... you're looking to make the playoffs," he said. "That's your goal and your focus is to make the playoffs and to play in the playoffs. I don't think when you haven't played in them in a while it makes a difference. I think you still have the same enthusiasm, the same mental makeup, the same everything as you were doing it like Detroit does every year."

Regardless of how old a player is, he said he always appreciates the opportunity to play in the postseason.

"It's an opportunity to play in the playoffs, doesn't matter if I was 10 or 50 or 100, I think you still appreciate it the same way," he said.

Cause for concern?

Martin St. Louis has gone without a point in three straight games (all Tampa Bay victories, by the way) and has not scored in four contests. But Bolts coach Guy Boucher doesn't seem concerned.

"That's all good, that's what I said about [Steven] Stamkos the previous series. It's better that he doesn't score because that means it's coming," Boucher joked. "Marty is a tremendous leader; he knows right now it's all about the small details. Obviously, there's a lot of small defensive details we have to focus on against that team and I think he just wants to lead the way."

Hidden message

The message board in the Tampa Bay dressing room was covered in towels Sunday morning, but Boucher wasn't giving away any clues about what was written on it.

"That's because my drawings are not that pretty. I don't want anybody to get a hold of that," he said. "It's just part of the game plan."