Saturday, January 16, 2010

Welcome Back Rick!!

"I don't want to go into these games 'fine tuning.' I want to go into this game and play well and contribute to a win."

The Isles have their eyes on the playoffs. They are not so far out of reach that looking towards them is just an exercise in futility. So how did Rick feel about coming back and perhaps making a playoff run?

That's the most exciting part of the comeback is the team is moving in the right direction. young guys getting more confidence. so, it's an exciting time and I'm just happy to be a part of it."

And what a part he was!

In his first game back on the Coliseum ice, Rick DiPietro turned away 31 of 33 shots. Not exactly a bad home-coming.

"When you're in the NHL, all that matters is results and wins." Rick told the press corps early today.

With the Islanders taking an early lead over the Sabres on a John Tavares goal, his 17th of the season, we all starting thinking about the 'results.'

The 1 - 0 lead would hold until Sean Bergenheim netted his first goal coming off injury off a perfect pass from Andy MacDonald. However, the euphoria of those on the bench as well as those of us on the couch lasted only for the blink of an eye as Grier cut lead in half.

Richard Park was robbed of a goal, and the Isles of a little insurance, not by Miller, but by the refs as his goal was waived off for a call on Andy Sutton for goaltender interference. It was a bogus call as the replays showed over and over.

And then, it happened. The Sabres tied it at 2 on a goal by Stafford at 9:35 of the third. The thought of an Overtime game gave everyone fits. The thought of a shootout made @dani3boyz pass out for a few seconds.

When she came to, that's exactly where the Islanders were: the shoot out.

it took eight rounds and sixteen shooters to decide this game. Schremp, Moulson, Tavares and the game winner, Trent Hunter all scored for the Islanders. On the other side of the ice, in his second game back, Dipietro would decide the game in a skills competition. He made one more save than Ryan Miller. That was all he needed to do.

"I just have to prove to everyone that I can stay healthy. I said it all along. It's not like I enjoy being hurt. It's the least fun experience you can have. The whole thing isn't good. When we can STOP talking about this, it will be good."

Well, tonight the "W" on the score sheet is what everyone will be talking about.

During the afternoon Coach's media face-off, Scott Gordon was asked what the next step for Rick would be in getting back to form. "Just like any goaltender, getting on a roll. You want to be able to go in and play and bounce back and play the same type of game. We have a pretty tough schedule coming up and we're going to need two goalies. To me, one of the things we've been able to do this year is make sure we've been able to stay relatively healthy. Making sure that nobody is getting over extended. Not just in the games but in the practices."

Gordon also did something out of the ordinary today: he cracked another joke. When he was asked about the stress level of Rick being in goal his first game back, Gordon drew on his own experiences in net. He had a perfect analogy.

"When I'm asked what the pressure is like being a coach, I tell them it's nothing like being a goalie. If you can imagine you're at your desk in your office and you make a mistake and a big red light goes on and people start yelling things about your mother, that's a little different type of pressure." Everyone in the room laughed.

No one was yelling anything about any one's mother tonight.

No comments: