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Saturday February 5, 2011 3:04 am

Rick DiPietro out again with busted face

Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, Injuries, NHL,

Rick DiPietroWhenever it seems like things could not get worse for the New York Islanders, things get worse for the New York Islanders. The latest blow came on Friday when the team announced that top goaltender Rick DiPietro is going to miss the next four-to-six weeks. This occurred after DiPietro got into a fight with Penguins goalie Brent Johnson, or more accurately, he got into a punch. Johnson skated the length of the ice, threw one left hook and DiPietro was finished.

The incident occurred because Matt Cooke staked into DiPietro without need and the Islanders jumped to DiPietro’s defense. For some reason, Johnson decided to turn the scrum into a clown show by rushing over to DiPietro and introducing him to his fist. With several career injuries in his past, DiPietro is no stranger to time off, but it’s never come via a fight before. DiPietro is again among almost a dozen other Islanders who have missed games due to injury this season; a leading reason why the team is last in the Eastern Conference.

DiPietro has started in net in 21 Islanders games and has a 7-10-4 record and the only shutout the team has to its credit this season. He has an .890 save percentage and 3.36 goals against average which aren’t as good as teammate Kevin Poulin’s, but he also has three times as many minutes played. How the Islanders respond to this won’t have an impact overall on their season, as it has already been terrible enough seemingly to net them another chance at a first-overall pick in the 2011 NHL Draft. Maybe they can get someone who can keep up with John Tavares.

DiPietro’s fractured face will keep him from seeing ice time for quite a while, which is shocking considering how harmless the punch looked at the time, at least as harmless as a direct punch to the head can be. Sadly, this isn’t the only incident we’ve seen this season (or even in recent weeks) of a mismatched pair of fighters. With so much equipment, it’s a wonder why two goalies wouldn’t leave it to the players and even consider fighting, and DiPietro’s is a case to show exactly how stupid a decision it can be.



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