Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Down goes DiPietro

Considering the sort of year they've had — overcoming long odds to stay in the playoff race — it'd be a shame if the Islanders' season went up in smoke, because their MVP was forced to the sidelines with another in a long line of NHL head injuries. But that's the kind of year it's been and also the kind of risk you take when you play the puck all over the ice the way DiPietro does.
Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I was skeptical when Rick DiPietro miraculously recovered from what appeared to be a serious concussion last week.

Now, head injuries are fickle things, and "recovery" can mean any number of things. It's probably safe to say the 25-year-old netminder wasn't 100 per cent during his last four starts.

The biggest problem for the Islanders, as Duhatschek notes, is the huge drop off from their starter to their backup, Mike Dunham, who hasn't played well at all this season. With a 4-9-3 reocrd, Dunham is ranked near the basement in goals-against average (3.50) and save percentage (.896), and will be playing behind a porous defence that has allowed the 26th most shots in the league. Sean Hill, who was bought out by Florida in the off-season, and Brendan Witt are the Isles top defence pairing.

Given how ridiculously close the the Eastern Conference playoff race is at the moment, and the fact the Isles are on the outside looking in, I think it's pretty safe to stick a fork in this club.

And just like that, Garth Snow's first season in the GM seat has turned into a disaster — especially since he's going to watch 11 UFAs walk out the door come July 1.

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11 Comments:

At 1:34 PM, March 28, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Toronto and Montreal have had their forks removed recently. This stuff really is just completely unpredictable when the teams in question are this even.

 
At 1:45 PM, March 28, 2007, Blogger PPP said...

Only the anti-Leafs had put a fork in the buds ;)

A little more caution might have saved the Isles' season.

 
At 2:38 PM, March 28, 2007, Anonymous Hooks Orpik said...

It wasn't too long ago everyone wrote off the Shanahan-less Rangers who plummeted down the standings...

A lot can change very quickly, it's too early to write off the Isles. But certainly it's safe to pull the fork out of the drawer, losing DiPietro is a crushing, crushing blow.

 
At 3:00 PM, March 28, 2007, Blogger Joe Pelletier said...

Wouldn't it be an amazing story if Garth Snow came out of retirement, donned the pads and led the Isles to the playoffs?!

Joe Pelletier
legendsofhockey.blogspot.com

 
At 3:02 PM, March 28, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Hah — that's hilarious Joe.

 
At 9:27 AM, March 29, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can you call Snow's first year as a disaster? This team, if you recall, was picked by the "experts" to have a horrible season, now they're fighting for a playoff spot.

How do you know all 11 players are going to walk at the end of the season?

You're an idiot.

 
At 11:37 AM, March 29, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Losing 11 FA's? Riiight. The only disaster is this blog. It's like a train wreck, I'm just enjoying the carnage.

 
At 11:41 AM, March 29, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did Sean Avery intentionally dropping on DiPietro's head have anything to do with the recurrence of the concussion symptoms?

 
At 12:51 PM, March 29, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

An extremely high percentage of UFAs do not re-sign with their original team — my guess is the Isles team will look significantly different next season, and Snow's deadline pickups will be long gone.

If you miss the playoffs and lose those acquisitions, just what did you deal assets away for?

 
At 10:22 AM, March 30, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If you miss the playoffs and lose those acquisitions, just what did you deal assets away for?" - So that you can be like the MAPLE LEAFS.

 
At 3:53 PM, March 30, 2007, Blogger PPP said...

The same Leafs that have Kaberle, Steen, Stajan, White, Colaiacovo, and Wellwood (all players that they drafted) in the lineup?

We'll see how many of those 11 UFAs stick around but at least DiPietro is locked up for 14 more years.

 

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