The Stat Line of the Night – 11/23/09 – Dwayne Roloson
Last night at the Air Canada Center in Toronto, two last place teams in their respective divisions hooked up in a game that may have meant very little to those not playing in it, but it seemed to have meant the world to the men on the ice. At least, they certainly played that way, and there would end up being one individual who stood out from the rest.
Playing on a team that is not exactly the most solid group defensively, New York Islanders goaltender Dwayne Roloson can often expect to face his fair share of shots, but he likely didn’t expect to shoulder the workload he was dealt Monday night by the home town Maple Leafs. Led by Phil Kessel, who had 11 shots of his own, the Leafs directed 61 attempts at Roloson, but could only put three pucks by him. Not only was the shot total high, but the quality of shots were yet another factor that made this performance by Roloson so impressive.
New York was outshot 35-16 after two periods, but was holding on to a 3-1 lead. That lead would be squandered in the third period as Roloson faced 23 more shots over 20 minutes, but he did manage to give his team a chance in overtime after they had been completely dominated. In the extra frame, Josh Bailey would beat Leafs goalie Jonas Gustavsson for the game winner, but it was Roloson’s effort between the pipes which made it all possible, thus earning him the “Stat Line Of The Night” for Monday, November 23, 2009.
With the win, the New York Islanders now find themselves tied with the Philadelphia Flyers, Tampa Bay Lightning, and New York Rangers for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. It is still quite early to be speaking about playoffs in the NHL two months into the season, but after getting off to a rough start, the Islanders will be pleased to be in the mix, and will look to stay there for a while.