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.
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.