Time For A Brian Rolston Revival
Brian Rolston was added to the Islanders roster over the summer for two reasons: to help get to the cap floor with his $5 million contract and to add an experienced veteran that could contribute offensively.
Through the first ten games of the season, Rolston was struggling to produce in the form in which both he and the Islanders had hoped. He had dressed for nine of the first 10 games of the year, (missing one as his wife was expected to give birth) and only put up two assists while playing on the third line with Josh Bailey and Blake Comeau.
Comeau is still searching for his first point of the year and Bailey picked up an assist in last night's win over the Capitals; his only point after being demoted to the fourth line.
So as you can see, Rolston was not the only player on his line finding it difficult to score goals. But after head coach Jack Capuano's lines shake-up, Rolston scored his first goal of the season with a slapper from just inside the blue-line.
Is it premature to say that Rolston is finally turning around? Absolutely. But the bigger picture is that Frans Nielsen and P.A. Parenteau, who were both new line mates for Rolston, were able to create some incredible scoring chances while adding to their point totals as well. Performing as the team's second line, this trio scored three of the Isles five goals including a total of seven points.
I spoke with Rolston over the summer after being traded to the Isles from the Devils and he said himself that he will play his best hockey when he gets more ice time. He cited this as the reason why he was able to turn his season around last year when the Devils were on their long winning streak and were pushing for the final playoff spot.
"I had Jacques [Lemaire], he came back, which I felt comfortable with him. But he gave me an opportunity to play at a second line capacity and played me first power play unit and penalty kill and I put up the numbers that I’m used to putting up. And that’s why I’m excited to go to the Islanders. I think they have a good young team and I hope that I get that chance to play at that same capacity and I will produce if I get that opportunity."
So far Rolston has proven himself true after being promoted from the third to second line in his first opportunity to do so.
It may have only been one game, but this could be a sign that the Islanders can expect bigger things from the 19-year veteran.
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