Roloson helps Isles salvage a point

Unbelievable. If someone had asked me to put last nights game into a one word definition, that would be the word I would choose. Dwayne Roloson was just that for the New York Islanders: Unbelieveable.

Age, although it should not be a huge factor in certain players playing careers, is mentioned more often then not when discussing an NHL player. Dwayne Roloson, who has surpassed the 40 years of age plateau, is playing like a goaltender in his prime and his numbers sure show it.

The Toronto Maple Leafs were able to take 61 shots on goal last night. Of course Leafs fans are pissed about the loss but Islanders fans should be just as upset about the win. If not for "Rollie" last night, a 3 goal cushion would of been wasted in it's entirety. What I mean by that is, the Leafs, after Bergenheim scored a short handed goal, suddenly decided to play a hockey game and absolutely took control of this contest. The Islanders were lucky, in a sense, and good (Roloson) when they needed to be in order to get the two points out of this one.

Leafs goalie Vesa Toskala was yanked a short time after giving up the 3rd goal for the Islanders who erupted early in the second period for a 3-0 lead. Matt Moulson, Jeff Tambellini and Sean Bergenheim all scored by the fifteen minute mark of the second and it looked as if the Islanders were all but heading home with a win.

Then, the Leafs figured they had another plan in mind. Phil Kessel cut the Islanders lead to two goals when he scored at the 15:32 mark of the second. Wayne Premieu and Niklas Hagman added thrid period goals for the Leafs and saved the team from losing the game outright. It's a heartbreaking loss for the Leafs, especially with the way they have been playing as a team as of late.

Josh Bailey, who has been great in the face off circle for the Islanders this season, netted the game winner at 4:18 of Overtime. The rest is history.

Scott Gordon was quoted (as per TSN.ca) in saying:

"Roloson was outstanding," said Islanders coach Scott Gordon. "We didn't tell Dwayne, but we figured as long as they didn't hit 70 shots, we'd be alright."

And that he was. It was an amazing performance by Rollie, one that will not be forgotten by Rolson, the Islanders and the Leafs.

Rolson's comments (from yahoo.com):

“To me, it’s just another night, another game,” Roloson said. “It doesn’t matter to me whether it’s one shot or 100 shots, I’ve got to do the same things, try to give my team a chance to win.”

The veteran goaltender has all the right words to say, but he deserves all the credit in the world. Rollie posted a 2-0-2 record on this road trip for the Islanders.

The bigger news for the Islanders, is that they return home from this road trip above the .500 mark. This was a goal Scott Gordon set for this road trip, and that goal was accomplished. Yes, there were two disappointing losses during the seven game road trip that ended last night and the Islanders return home after going 3-2-2.

The New York Islanders have the slumping Philadelphia Flyers up next tomorrow night and will hope to give the home crowd a reason to give thanks.

Quick hits:

John Tavares remains in the lead for rookies with 19 points in 24 games played.

Rick DiPietro was back on the ice today for a practice type situation. Here is a quote from Chris Botta of Islanders Point Blank and his live blog from this morning:

Rick DiPietro emerges from the locker room. He is wearing white pads and a blue practice jersey. HIs first step on the ice is withi his right foot. (Just play along with me, Country. I already used my walk-on-water line with John Tavares. And besides, the way Dwayne Roloson played last night, there is no need for DiPietro to be a savior.

His first save was a blocker save on a wrist shot by Robbie Schremp. The first step above everything else. When asked about when his conditioning stint will commence, DiPietro replied "I have no idea". Islanders fans are hopeful this is going to happen within the next month's time.

Dwayne Roloson is now 7-2-5 on the season with a .912 save percentage and a 2.85 goals against average. One of the biggest reasons the Islanders are where they are in the standings right now.

Off the record:

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Anthony Curatolo is a hockey blogger/enthusiast. He also writes for Hockey Independent, Inside Hockey, Hendricks Hockey and The Checking Line. He is the co-producer and host of "The Hockey Guys" which is a Hockey Talk Radio show that airs live on Sunday's from 2PM - 4PM Eastern Standard Time. When he is not covering hockey, he is sitting around playing his acoustic guitar and setting his rosters for all the fantasy hockey leagues he takes part in. Anthony is also a self proclaimed "coffee-holic" and X-men fanatic.