New York Islanders’ Backup Goalie Unable to Hold Off Rangers

Dan SiegelSenior Analyst IMarch 6, 2008

Wade Dubli, Dubli, Dubli…"Du" not put him in goal any more.

New York Islanders’ head coach Ted Nolan thought that starting goaltender Rick DiPietro needed an extra day to be mentally and emotionally ready after the tragic loss suffered by his family. 

DiPietro wanted to be back on the ice Thursday night against the New York Rangers but did not get his way.

Besides, Wade Dubielewicz gave the Isles a huge lift after shutting down of the Rangers in a shootout during the first half of this home and home series. 

And of course the Islander Faithful remember how Dubielewicz’s inspiring play in DiPietro’s absence last season vaulted them into the playoffs.

Doobie’s magic seems to have worn off, however, giving up three goals in the Rangers’ 4-1 victory Thursday evening out on Long Island. 

Brendan Shanahan, Scott Gomez, and Sean Avery all lit the lamp against Dubielewicz, with Avery adding an empty-net goal at the end of the third period.

Thursday’s victory presently has the Rangers occupying sixth place in the playoff race, while the Isles are stuck in the 11th spot. 

The Rangers are only four points behind the conference leading Pittsburgh Penguins, and now eight ahead of the Islanders. 

A streak in one direction could put the Rangers amongst the league’s elite, while going slightly in the other direction will have them booking their tee times.

Of course, the casual observer would point out that the Rangers are already in the midst of a streak in the right direction, going a conference-best 7-0-3 in their last ten games. 

The Blueshirts’ offense has found its direction, being able to run up the score in the event that goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is not having a gold-medal night.

One positive has been Jaromir Jagr seeing time on the ice with some grittier line mates— namely Sean Avery and Brandon Dubinsky—freeing Jagr to skate with more freedom and less sticks finding their way to his knees. 

The league knows not to mess with Avery, and Dubinsky is quickly making a name for himself as a tough forechecker as well as a skilled net crasher.

Newcomer Christian Backman, along with veteran Marek Malik, bring plenty of grit to the blue line, joining forwards Colton Orr, Ryan Hollweg, and Ryan Callahan to form a well-rounded group of enforcers.

In an ode to former Madison Square Garden boss Tex Rickard:

Don’t mess with Tex’s Rangers.