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.