Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Good and the Bad Part VII - Rick DiPietro

Yes Its true The Good and the Bad has returned to the Voice. Three points for and against an issue as it relates to the New York Islanders. After witnessing Rick Dipietro's superman act last night against the Devils and his superhuman saves off of Elias and Zubrus we will deal with the face of the Islanders, the Franchise, the 15 year man, the master of disaster, the king of sting, the mountain of molten lust, the count of monte fisto... the one and only Apollooooo Cree... No I mean Rick DiPietro. What could be bad about Rick Dipietro you ask? Well read on and keep in mind these opinions do not necessarily represent my opinions, but opinions shared by the masses.

Lets start with the easy -

THE GOOD -
1 - 15 Year Deal - Rick has obviously turned into what Charles Wang and Garth Snow envisioned when they gave him that 15 year contract. After a few seasons the way the pay scale is rising (thank you Rangers) he will be the most underpaid goaltender in hockey and a relative bargain.
2 - All Star - After not even being on the all star ballot last season Rick seems to have opened the eyes of the rest of the hockey world and recognized him as the superstar he is. Let me honest, a lot of what Martin Brodeur said about the team is true and the biggest reason the Islanders are where they are right now is directly because of DiPietro. We have a franchise player too, and not the rest of the NHL knows it.
3 - Workhorse/General Attitude- DiPietro has shown the ability that only the elite net minders in the NHL have the capability to do and that is play game after game. So much for letting that 15 year deal eat at his competitive nature. The guy comes to play and win every game and this blogger has seen that he HATES to lose, whether its a playoff series against the top rated NHL team, or a breakdown in OT against the Florida Panthers the guy takes the teams fortune to heart. He realizes he is married to the Islanders for life and one day his No 39 could be hanging in the rafters next to the greats of the team. Don't think he doesn't respect that and want to earn every part of it, because it is what he wants.

Here's the hard part -

THE BAD -
1 - 15 Year deal - I don't care how good he is playing now. when he is 36 and there are 4 years left on his contract tell me how much you love him. Sooner or later his contract will become an albatross for the team and have to be bought out like Yashin's 10 year mistake. Another issue is Rick seems to be injury prone with problems with groin and concussions. Never a good combo when mixed with a 15 year deal.

2 - Shooting Gallery - The amount of shots he is facing cannot be a good thing. Rick is masking just how bad this team's defense is. Without Witt they were bullied when Sutton was not on the ice, and if Campoli is out for an extended time it could spell doom and hurt Rick's confidence. The team needs to improve its defense and until it does how long can we expect before it starts getting to Rick?

3 - Puck Handling - We all know his puck handling skills can be a real positive, but they can also more often than not get him into trouble. How many times has the crowd audible groaned when he ventures out of net to play the puck resulting in a scoring chance against? The puck handling is a major positive, but the results sometimes can be disastrous.

So there you have it. Please post any thoughts you have on the matter and let me know what points are off base and which ones you agree with. Thanks for reading and I'll see you at the Coliseum.

FCT

8 comments:

mark said...

Rick Dipietro is the backbone of the franchise. Their absolute MVP. I believe he is the most exciting goalie in hockey. We will never regret signing him. I do agree he needs help! The Islander's should do everything possible, if somehow he becomes available, to sign Dion Planeuf.GO ISLANDER"S Mark

FCT said...

Phanuef, if there is any way possible to get him on the Island it should be done. The kid is a STUD and can do it all. Only problem is guys like that usually go to Toronto, The Rangers, Detroit, Colorado or Boston. If he becomes a RFA, someone would try and "Dustin Penner" him away with a ridiculous contract. I would try and get him now if at all possible. then if he is an RFA you can just match it because the Isles have the room under the cap. Start with Campoli and Tambelini, add in some Draft Picks and you may have a shot. I would give them anyone but Okposo. Yes... hes that good. I still think he will wind up staying in Calgary because defenseman of his quality at 24 are a rare breed.

FCT

Anonymous said...

Phanuef is a western canda product that played his minor hockey in western canada any thought he is leaving there is a pipe dream...When are they going to do the right thing a call okposo up he has proven he is not out of place down there lets get him up and see what he can do then build the franchise around him

FCT said...

Agreed Phanuef is a pipe dream. who knows he may want to come out west. At least the team can do is try. Also agreed that Okposo shoudl get up on the Islanders. I think he should have started here. Lets see what the kid has already.

FCT

Groucho Lives said...

I really need someone’s help with this. I have been an Islanders fan for many years and, like all of you, I have seen the good, bad and otherwise. One thing I can’t understand, however, is how anyone can think that Ricky is better than average. He goes outside the net far too much and has been scored on for doing so far too many times. He has his “passes” intercepted a fair number of times and is the league leader in penalty minutes for goalies. He is in the bottom half of the league in GAA and Save% and even his own teammates say that he needs another airplane seat because of his ego. Now, I have heard many people say that he has bailed the team out and I agree. He has some sensational games. That being said, because he has been out of position I have also seen his defensemen bail him out and keep pucks from the net and I have also seen him out of the net when other teams score. Please don’t misunderstand me, I am not saying he is terrible. What I am saying is that I don’t see this “Hart Contender” that everyone is talking about. I am a true Islanders fan and would like to hear another opinion because I feel that I am missing something, but I don’t know what it is.

FCT said...

Hey groucho. I dont see a Hart candidate either. What I do see is a galie maturing and improving with every season. He has not taken a step back yet and each year seems capable of more. Sooner or later he will level off. He is however the teams MVP and if they do manage to make the playoffs then he is the primary reason. The Islanders were supposed to be God awful this season. every writer, columnist, website, radio host, blogger - everyone except for the super Islander apologist expected this team to finish in the bottom five in the NHL. Rick is not the only reason, but he is the primary one. Hart trophy? no way. If he were carrying numbers like 2.00 GAA and a .930 save percentage maybe. You make valid points, but I think you take it to far the other direction.

Groucho Lives said...

FCT...thanks for your valuable comments, I guess I still don't see it. If you look at his career he has remainded very average with no statistically significant improvement. If you look at his playoff career he has actually gotten worse (this isn't opinion, look at his stats). Granted, he has some great games and when he is good he is VERY good. But the idea is to be VERY good a majority of the time. I hear the commentators talking about a breakdown in defense causing the score, but that is why you have a goalie. The idea is that they stop breakaway shots and stay in the net. If you look at the World Class goalies they are brilliant MOST of the time. Please understand, I am not trying to rip on DP, he is a decent netminder, but I don't see all the glitz everyone is talking about. He has the 3rd worst percentage in shots inside 20 feet, in the shootout he doesn't rank in the top 15 goalies in save percentage and I haven't seen signs of him improving. If you want to pin MVP credentials on someone on the Islanders I think that Witt is a far better choice.

FCT said...

Agreed. DP is not a Hart candidate. I dont think he is a Vezina candidate either, but that doesnt mean he is not one of the top 10 goaltenders in the league. A lot of the elite netminders have flaws in thier game with the exception of Brodeur, who I still believe along with Patrick Roy are truly the best of the modern generation. If you look at the elite netminders in the league right now DP is in thier league although he is not at the top of it. I do see improvement in his game from year to year and I do believe he is capable of getting better. DP's flaws I believe are also some of his greatest assets. I dont think we can measure how much pressure he can take of the defense with his puck handling skills AND he is more than capable of generating offense. He has 4 assists right now.

FCT