I don't know what to say other than hockey is a funny game sometimes. And God must hate the Maple Leafs. And Dwayne Roloson must be God. That must be how you get outshot 61-21 yet win 4-3 in overtime.
Throw out the scoreless first period, when the Leafs got :cough: an iffy powerplay and a whatever powerplay and outshot the Isles 20-9. They still outshot the Isles 41-12 in the final two periods. But that excludes the Vesa Factor: Three goals in 3:13 of the 2nd leads to Vesa Toskala pulling himself from the game, and despite an all-too-familiar blown lead by the Islanders, Dwayne Roloson holds the fort and a moment of brilliance by Sean Bergenheim and Josh Bailey in OT gives the Islanders a wholly undeserved win.
Look at the shot chart graphic on the rink diagram here. The grey X's are Leafs shots. It looks like they created a minefield around Roloson. Meanwhile, Bergenheim's shorthanded goal is a lonely red X out by the blueline, in "just shoot at Vesa" territory.
[Video highlights and rest of entry added after the jump.]
Bergenheim, incidentally, was one of the few non-Roloson bright spots in this game. He showed drive on the forecheck all night and showed good instinct by taking the puck up ice and (honestly) unleashing a sizzling shot for his shorthander.
Jack Hillen was absolutely, without question, the other bright spot. Hillen finished +2, logged 23:33 of ice time (5:42 on the PK), was one of the few successfully rushing the puck into the Leafs zone, and made several game-saving defensive plays, including hustling back all the way to the end boards after his shot was blocked at the Leafs zone in OT.
Finally, Roloson. 58 saves. Standing strong even when Tim Jackman was knocking him back into his own net. There's a lot to be disturbed by from this game,
but I have to run to my own late game so I'll cut this off here (video and more later) [Video now added. I'll have more on this game later, as there are a lot of angles to pursue.] For now: Thank you, Roloson. Your team does not -- but you sir, certainly deserve that 'W.'
Thanks to Chris Botta for inviting me to guest on his game chat at Point Blank tonight. I had a blast, and that topsy-turvy game was quite the muse for instant online thoughts.