Rick DiPietro. This man has been nothing short of a roller coaster since drafted by the islanders. His numbers coming out of college were ridiculously good and the sky looked to be the limit. Enter Roberto Luongo. This current off season has been a busy one for Luongo. Will he go back to Florida, head over to Toronto or sit the bench in Vancouver? So many questions, yet none truly affect the Islanders, unless he comes to the Atlantic but that is HIGHLY unlikely.
Consider this, since Luongo was traded to make way for Di, he has won 332 games in the NHL and has played an average of 64 games per year since. 49 games played in the last 4 years and 14 wins for DiPietro. Now math was never my strong point in school, but let’s work this equation out. We are going to throw some more numbers at this as if it were a damn long division problem and see what the answer comes out to be. 2 Shutouts, 1 All-Star selection (2008), 1st overall selection in the 2000 NHL draft and he makes the #39 look good. Remember that number earlier from the Luongo information, the average of 64 per season since the trade/draft in 2000. Compare that to DiPietros’ average, 25.2. Ugh.
You can sit there and spew a pile of “what if’s” and make wild accusations about how many Stanley Cups the Islanders would have won had they kept Luongo, but why bother? Realistically who’s to say that had Roberto stayed on the island he wouldn’t have gotten hit by the injury train like Ricky? Maybe even forcing him into early retirement and leaving us without a #1 goalie, in turn completely changing the Islanders franchise. At the same time, had the Islanders passed on drafting DiPietro and he went somewhere else he may have 4 or 5 cups under his belt by now.
DiPietro has what it takes to be a world class goalie, hands down. If you look at what he did in college compared to two of the best American born goalies ever you’ll see what I mean. Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins (semi retired?). He played four years at the University of Vermont in the ECAC and only one season (junior year) did he post a better GAA(2.34) then DiPietro did in his ONLY season at Boston University (2.45).
Ill apologize now before I even put pen to paper and write this next name for you all to read, but if going by numbers he has to be mentioned. Mike Richter. In his last of 2 seasons at the University of Wisconsin Madison he played 36 games and allowed 126 goals. In DiPietros only collegiate season he played in 30 games and only allowed 73 goals. Not bad matched up next to a Hall of Famer!
In another post of mine I predicted the Islanders to finish 4th in the Atlantic with roughly 90 points. However, there are “if’s” involved. If Ricky can stay healthy all season, if he can perform to near his potential and if the young talent develops and can routinely produce 2 point performances who’s to say they can’t make a legitimate push for the playoffs. I am definitely not trying to pass off false hopes to you all, but honestly, stranger things have happened.