Manny's play this season has got me to wondering if we dealt the right goalie last year at the trading deadline. Before the lockout Roloson and Fernandez split time pretty equally, and Roloson even made an All-Star game. Roloson was thought to be the more consistent netminder, while Fernandez was a bit streakier. Conventional wisdom said that Fernandez had a higher ceiling and a lower floor.
Then came the 2005-06 season. Both goalies started the season on equal footing, but after a few weeks it was clear that Manny was having the better year. Roloson looked shaky at times while Fernandez was stellar. Gradually over December and January Manny took the helm and Roloson was reduced to a back-up's role. So there we were at the trading deadline with a hot, younger goalie and an aging back-up that was coveted by several teams. Risebrough's logical move was to trade Roloson, and when he managed to get a #1 pick in return from Edmonton it seemed like a no-brainer. And when they turned that #1 pick into a key part of the Pavol Demitra trade I was ecstatic.
Fast forward to the present and you now see Manny's confidence shattered, his play inconsistent and his paychecks large. Meanwhile across the border, Roloson had a Conn Smythe-esque playoff run and has settled into the consistent goaltender the Oilers have been looking for for years. For the Wild to make the playoffs Manny needs to turn it around in a big way.
It pains me to say this because I truly thought Fernandez was going to be the strength of this team, but he has now become its weakness.