Last night, as we all remained preoccupied by the Winter Classic, the Islanders continued dealing their cards and sent veteran goaltender Dwayne Roloson to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Their return seems to be former first round pick Ty Wishart, whom the Lightning originally acquired in the Dan Boyle trade from the San Jose Sharks.
This move comes as somewhat of a surprise as Cedric Desjardins just nailed down his second consecutive win and seemed to be the answer between the pipes. After Mike Smith and Dan Ellis averaged 3.20 and 3.03 goals per game, this rookie allowed only two goals over two games winning both decisions, revitalized under his former and current coach Guy Boucher. Nevertheless, as of this morning the Lightning re-assigned Desjardins to Norfolk of the AHL, ending his winning streak at two.
In addition, the acquisition of Roloson means bad news for both Mike Smith and Dan Ellis. Smith remains sidelined with a knee injury while Ellis recently became sidelined for somewhat fluke-like reasons. Boucher wanted to light a spark under his netminder and did just that by rolling Desjardins out against the organization he played four seasons for.
It seems like Roloson and Ellis should alternate starts before Smith returns and gives us our second three-headed monster to worry about. The Lightning actually allow the least shots in the League, making the poor performance of their goaltenders even worse. Their average of 3.05 goals forced per game should be a welcome addition for Roloson, who endured a 2.31 average from the Isles, leading to a 6-13-1 record.
On the Island, Rick DiPietro and to a lesser extent Nathan Lawson both benefit from Roli moving out. However, for either goalie to get a win on the Islanders, they truly need to earn it as the team allows roughly 32 shots per game.
In summary, if you see Roloson on the waiver wire– act now!