Roli the (really old) Goalie making most of second chance

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 1, 2011 - 11:42 PM

At 41, former Wild netminder Dwayne Roloson keeps his body -- and his eyes -- sharp for the playoff-bound Lightning.

hide

Acquired from the Islanders on Jan. 1, Dwayne Roloson has a 16-11-4 record and 2.58 goals-against average for Tampa Bay.

Photo: Christopher Pasatieri, Mct - Mct

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Dwayne Roloson chuckled at the question: "How the heck are you still kicking?"

Seriously though. In 2006, after three years of splitting the net in Minnesota, Roloson became Manny Fernandez's backup. He was 36, struggling in his spot starts, and doubters wondered if the Wild goalie was over the hill.

Naturally, Roloson proved everybody wrong when he was traded to Edmonton and carried the Oilers to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Here we are five years later, and Roli the Goalie is not only still kicking, he has given the Tampa Bay Lightning such a stabilizing presence in goal at the ripe age of 41, folks there are talking Stanley Cup for the first time since the team won it all in 2004.

"Age is just a number," Roloson said before making 36 saves Thursday night against Pittsburgh to help the Lightning clinch a playoff spot. "Physically and mentally, I feel better than I did 10 years ago. And as long as my body holds up, I want to keep playing."

Roloson, the NHL's second-oldest player behind the Boston Bruins' 42-year-old Mark Recchi, works tirelessly to stay in shape. The workout freak's regimen is infamous, lasting all summer with Huntington Beach-based fitness guru Scot Prohaska.

The two met 14 years ago through Roloson's former Buffalo and Calgary teammate James Patrick.

"We were doing stuff a dozen years ago that nobody ever thought of doing," Roloson said.

But Roloson, in Minnesota to see old friends and face the Wild on Saturday afternoon, has another trick: He exercises his eyes.

Years ago in Buffalo, he met Mark Gordon, a developmental optometrist who works with athletes.

"His philosophy is you train your eyes like you train your body," Roloson said. "His simile is when you drive eight, nine hours, you're physically tired. Why are you physically tired? You haven't done anything physically. But your eyes are working nonstop for those eight, nine hours, which tells your brain you're tired."

So Roloson trains his eyes so his body doesn't get fatigued. He does vision activities right up to the time he takes the ice some nights.

"We take a look at eye-hand coordination, reaction time, processing speeds, peripheral awareness," Gordon said. "Do we know where our teammates are? Do we know where the opponents are? Do we know where the puck is? Do we know how fast the puck is moving? Can we make sense of not only where the puck is at this moment but where it's going to be a half-second from now?"

Goalies will come to Gordon with specific complaints, such as "the puck looks too small" or "it's moving too fast" or "I'm losing it in traffic," and he will tailor specific activities to improve the problem areas.

Roloson does activities throughout the season to stretch his eye muscles. One activity is using a Brock string, which holds five beads stretched over 20 feet. Roloson will quickly focus from bead to bead, Gordon says.

"It's not only how quickly you get to each location, it's how efficiently," Gordon said. "Are your eyes lined up? Are they focused?"

This is how Roloson still is kicking. On Jan. 1, the Islanders traded him to the Lightning, a team bustling with superstars Steven Stamkos, Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis and run by Hall of Famer Steve Yzerman.

Roloson is 16-11-4 with a 2.58 goals-against average since the trade. He has a new opportunity to make a difference in the playoffs. He hurt a knee in Game 1 of the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals and often wonders what might have been had he not been sidelined. The Oilers' Jussi Markkanen took the series to Game 7, but the Hurricanes won it all.

"Do I look at this as a second chance? Yeah. And who knows if I'll get a third chance," Roloson said. "So you want to take it now. There's no other day like the present to accomplish what you want. Our goal is to win the last game of the playoffs.

"This is a team with some incredible players. Who knows what the future will bring, but when you look at our chemistry and the caliber of players we have, we can do some great damage in the playoffs. Hopefully we'll be able to do it."

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Cleveland - WP: C. Allen 4 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: G. Holland 3
Baltimore - LP: W. Chen 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Pineda 5
Kansas City - WP: D. Duffy 2 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: C. Carrasco 0
Seattle - LP: J. Paxton 4 FINAL
Toronto - WP: J. Happ 14
Chicago WSox - WP: C. Bassitt 2 FINAL
Detroit - LP: K. Lobstein 0
Pittsburgh - WP: F. Liriano 1 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: A. Harang 0
Houston - LP: N. Tropeano 3 FINAL
Texas - WP: D. Holland 4
St. Louis - WP: A. Wainwright 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wood 0
Arizona - WP: J. Collmenter 6 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: R. Nolasco 2
LA Angels 1 Bottom 7th Inning
Oakland 8
San Francisco 2 Top 9th Inning
Los Angeles 2
Colorado 0 Top 9th Inning
San Diego 1
Chicago 27 FINAL
NY Jets 19
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Buffalo 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Green Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Tennessee 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Carolina 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Detroit 9/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Tampa Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Miami 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Oakland
Jacksonville 9/28/14 3:05 PM
San Diego
Atlanta 9/28/14 3:25 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 9/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
New Orleans 9/28/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Ottawa 2 FINAL
NY Islanders 3
Ottawa 5:00 PM
NY Islanders
New Jersey 5 FINAL
NY Rangers 4
Detroit 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh 1
Toronto 3 FINAL
Philadelphia 2
Washington 4 FINAL
Philadelphia 5
Minnesota 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
St. Louis 3 FINAL
Dallas 4
Anaheim 5 FINAL
Colorado 2
Colorado 0 FINAL
Anaheim 4
Los Angeles 4 2nd OT :00
Arizona 5
Arizona 2 3rd Prd 4:44
Los Angeles 3
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close