Rock and Roli

Justin Goldman




With all of the great young goaltending talent in the league right now, it's no surprise that some of the wise and durable veterans get lost in the fantasy mix. Once you look past the popular guys like Martin Brodeur and Tim Thomas, there stands one 40-year-old man fully capable of playing consistent, quality stretches of good hockey.


Dwayne Roloson has performed beyond the expectations of most analysts out there and has become a perfect fit for the New York Islanders. On a team loaded with so much young and up-and-coming talent, Roloson is the perfect type of goalie for these players – one that instills confidence in his teammates simply due to his unyielding work ethic.


As a veteran, Roloson understands that he doesn't have to stop every shot that comes his way or win games single-handedly, so his focus lies on simply playing a full 60-minute game. His goal is singular in essence, but it runs the gamut of the competitive goalie's mission – work harder than the opponent's goaltender and make timely saves. This not only brings a steadying influence to the team on the ice but also provides strong leadership values in the locker room. For any general manager out there, these assets are worth their weight in gold.


Without any type of true recognition, Roloson only suffered two regulation losses in his first 16 games (Oct. 16 and Nov. 21) on a team that struggled mightily to score. Most recently, his last two games (Dec. 23 and Dec. 26) were incredible winning performances and in the game before that against the Lightning, he made a pair of saves in a loss that condensed everything he encompasses into a single moment in time – he never, ever gives up on a puck.


But what makes Roloson worthy of being on your fantasy team, despite being on a team outside of the playoff race?


It's his mental toughness. Roloson never gets too high or too low within a game. He's even-keeled and his focus never wavers. He's rarely rattled by a weak goal against and he rarely gives up the bad or weak-angle goal. If these are the types of goals a young stud gives up, you can bet it will affect their confidence, timing and rhythm. But with Roloson, they don't bother him and the team in front of him doesn't lose confidence. His work ethic rubs off on all his teammates because they know he's not the most athletic goalie, but sans a select few, he works the hardest.


Another facet of Roloson's continued success in the NHL is his adaptability. He used to play a completely different style of butterfly only 3-4 years ago. But thanks to his excellent work ethic, he has been able to adjust his style on the fly and refine his game to be as effective as possible. Again, this is another aspect you won't see with rookies, sophomo