January 4, 2011

DiPietro Hurt as Isles Defeat Flames

11:15: The Isles have called up Kevin Poulin from Bridgeport in case DiPietro can't go by Thursday. The injury doesn't seem to be serious.

8 AM: The Islanders 5-2 win over the Calgary Flames on Monday night was overshadowed by the fact that Rick DiPietro left the game early after making a save and then having a hard time getting up.

The injury was obviously a lower body one, with many people speculating about the knees and hips again. Word came out in the 3rd period that DiPietro was suffering from a strained adductor - essentially, his groin.

I remain hopeful that this was just a precautionary measure taken in a game that the Islanders were truly dominating at the time.

Of course, this gives more credence to the thought that the Islanders traded Dwayne Roloson away too soon. If anything serious is wrong with DiPietro, then as of now the Islanders would have Nate Lawson as their starter and either Mikko Koskinen or Kevin Poulin as his back-up, both with no NHL experience at this time. The Flyers have Michael Leighton on waivers and many fans want the Isles to scoop him up. Sean posted on our Twitter last night that he thought they should. I, on the other hand, don't think it will happen. We don't know how serious the injury is, and probably won't before the time to claim him comes to a close. Also, while Leighton is inexpensive, it remains to be seen how inexpensive a player has to be in order for the Isles to add them.

Meanwhile, the Islanders had an overall good effort against a Flames team that has been just as hot as they have been. They came out like gang busters in the first and jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead thanks to John Tavares and Matt Moulson. Moulson's goal was a thing of beauty, set up nicely by Tavares and P.A. Parenteau.

Tavares played with the most confidence that I have seen in quite some time. All of a sudden, he seemed to have a spring in his step and an extra gear that was kicking in. His speed still isn't the greatest, but it was encouraging to see that perhaps we have something to work on that's better than we thought. Who knows - perhaps the articles stating Tavares wanting to leave, which he quickly denied, added some punch here.

Moulson and Parenteau had awesome games too. I've been critical of Parenteau but this game was the most complete game I saw from him as an NHL player.

Lawson should be applauded for his effort in this one as well. It is very difficult to come in and relieve for any goalie, let alone a 27 year old rookie with one game of NHL experience to his name. But he went in and was tested early and often, only giving up one goal and making several key stops. Rebound control is certainly something that will need to be worked on, but luckily it didn't kill Lawson against the Flames.

I am really liking the Grabner-Nielsen-Bailey line more and more each game. They control the puck very well, and had some nice shifts where they controlled the puck for virtually the entire time on the ice. It's really nice to see all three playing well and with some good chemistry. Jack Capuano seems to have found a good thing there.

The Isles have now won seven of their last nine and have a couple of off days to figure out DP's status. They play Thursday in Edmonton against the Oilers. Naturally we'll have updates for you here.

For those of you who are unaware, we did record and post our latest show on Sunday. We have the podcast available at the MyPodcast site. We went live for the show through UStream, and also have the first ever recorded show available here. Hopefully you all like the format as much as we enjoyed making it. We're still trying to learn all the bells and whistles, but it was really fun and we look forward to using it as we continue to make improvements to the show.



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