Rick DiPietro made his return to the Coliseum tonight after spending the bulk of the 08-09 season recovering from yet another injury. Despite having not played a game in months, DiPietro played very well and managed to hold Toronto to only one goal.
This could not have come at a better time. The Island was sinking. New York had lost 10 games in a row. Nothing was going right for this team.
Joey MacDonald, who had filled in for D.P., did a very good job before the skid began, where they were only one below .500.
But in the team's recent funk, Joey Mac was not showing the brilliant flashes that he had shown earlier on, and he looked very vulnerable behind the net. Whether it was fatigue, his injury-riddled defense, or a mix of both, the Islanders entered a downward spiral that was finally stopped tonight (12/26/08) by the return of DiPietro.
DiPeitro must find a way to stay on the ice the rest of the season. He is not going to be able to play every day for a while, but at least MacDonald will be able to have some rest before his starts and won't have to worry that Yann Danis will be backing him up anytime soon.
It's time for DiPietro to earn some of the time on his 14-year contract and find a way to stay healthy!
Nevertheless it was very exciting to see Rick DiPietro on the ice for New York for the first time in what seemed like ages. Hopefully he can help the Islanders turn it around in the new year.
Scott Gordon can sleep a little easier tonight as his team was finally able to give him a win here in the month of December. Think of it as a late Christmas gift.
Congratulations to Captain Bill Guerin who scored his 400th career goal.
Kudos to D.P. who won his first game behind the net since February of last year!