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A blog by a long time New York Islanders fan who stays true to the fellas wearing orange, white and blue…but thinks the Islanders organization has some shaping up to do.

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Monday, October 13, 2008

The DiPietro Factor

(written before Isles v. Sabres)

As the first two games of the season are entered into the books, the question arises of what the deal really is with franchise goaltender Rick DiPietro.

TSN reported the "real" reason why DP hasn't played the first two games is because of swelling and fluid around his surgically repaired knee, a story that many seemed to take as fact. Both DiPietro and Scott Gordon have shot down this story as untrue, and Gordon says his reason for benching the goalie is to ensure that he is completely ready to take the ice, as far as both health and preparation go. After all, he reasons, if Rick were less than one hundred percent, why would he take the risk and dress him?

Point? Yes. Proof? No. Of course, it's a great move to be cautious and not rush DiPietro onto the ice once more, simply because you want him to be completely healthy and give his teammates a chance to win every night. Plus, it isn't exactly like Joey MacDonald hasn't been doing that for the Isles lately (2 GP, 4 GA, .927 sv pct., 51 svs). However, the question is, or will be, how long will it take before Rick is completely ready? Gordon said there was "no set time frame" for getting him back into the net, but the longer it takes, the better that TSN report looks, and the less confidence fans will have in DiPietro playing all 15 years of his contract, let alone playing more than 63 games a season. Should DP be back between the pipes sometime this week, all eyes will be on how healthy he appears and how prepared he really is. For now, needless to say, we will be fine with Joey starting. Sooner or later, though, he will need a rest, and we will be wondering about someone who is not only our starter, but the face of this franchise, and one with a lot on his shoulders.

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