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Monday, December 26, 2011

Isles 40 in 40 -- #30

Isles 40 in 40 -- #30 

In honor of the Isles 40th anniversary year, I've put together a list of the Top 40 moments in club history.  I'll go through them throughout the season, bit by bit.

November 23, 2009 -- Roloson sets franchise record with 58 saves
The Islanders' game in Toronto on November 23, 2009 was an event before it was even played.  After all, it was John Tavares' first game in his hometown.
However, by the end of the night, the Tavares story was reduced to a footnote.  THE Story was Dwayne Roloson.
The Isles, playing a club record-tying 7th consecutive road game, had taken a 3-0 lead with a 3-goal in 3:13 outburst in the second period.  Jeff Tambellini, Matt Moulson, and Sean Bergenheim tallied for the Isles in that stretch.
However, it was not enough as the Leafs kept shooting, and shooting, and shooting.
Phil Kessel got the Leafs on the board in the second period with his only goal on twelve shots during the game.  Wayne Primeau and Niklas Hagman would beat Roloson in the third period and that would send the game to overtime.
Josh Bailey would be the hero in overtime, beating relief goaltender Jonas Gustavsson for his third goal in as many games.

However, none of Bailey's heroics would have been possible without Dwayne Roloson's efforts. 

Roloson faced 61 shots, the most ever against the Islanders, and finished with a club-record 58 games.  It's the most saves by any goaltender since March 21, 1991  (Ron Tugnutt, playing for Quebec, made 70 saves against Boston that night -- he faced 19 shots from Ray Bourque).  It's also the most by a winning goalie in 28 years.  Mario Lessard made 65 saves for the Kings in a win over Minnesota on March 24, 1981.  The Kings were out-shot 68-19 in that game.  (As of Christmas 2011, no goalie has faced as many shots as Roloson did since then.)

In addition to the 61 shots on goal, the Leafs missed the net 27 times, and had 28 shots blocked by the Islanders -- a total of 116 attempts at goal.

To give you a good sense of the game, check out this "Game in Six Minutes" that was produced by Leafs TV.  It's Joe Bowen and Greg Millen on the call.

 "I was seeing the puck well.  You've got to give the guys credit. They had a lot of shots, but for the most part they were to the outside. They gave me the opportunity to see things."
-- Dwayne Roloson
Roloson's heroics earn him #30 on the Isles 40 in 40 list.
March 16, 2010 -- Tavares' 5-point game.
February 13, 2011 -- Grab-Trick. 
March 31, 1990 -- Uwe, Uwe. 

Like any of these lists, my #2 may be your #20...
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

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