At 30, Salo is the oldest Oiler, on the cusp of what he hopes are five more years of prime hockey. He no longer frets about being beaten by a late pass across his crease, and therefore he routinely challenges shooters—a sure sign of confidence. Edmonton is every bit as confident in Salo, despite his inability to steal a playoff series against the Dallas Stars in any of the last three seasons.
MacTavish says Salo might have worn down last spring after 4,364 regular-season minutes—which, given his added Olympic duties in February, means the coach will chat with Salo a little more often. He wants his goalie fresh for the playoffs, hockey's happiest hours of all.