FanPost

The DiPietro Factor

He's supposed to be the face of the franchise.  He's more like the face on the Emblem Health poster hanging on the 3:17 to Ronkonkoma.  Charles Wang will be signing his checks for another 10 years.  But only if poor Chuckles would actually see the signs. 

Dipietrolastgame533_medium

It's easy to make Rick DiPietro the scapegoat for the Islanders troubles.  He was supposed to be a stalwart in net for the Isles for the next decade.  Instead, the one time all-star has spent much more time on Injured Reserve than he has between the pipes.  And when he has been in net, the results have been...to put it nicely...less than favorable.  The season's finale against the Flyers, where weak goal after weak goal hit the back of the Islanders' net, was a perfect example of that.

But is all the negative criticism warranted?  Here is a breakdown of the Islanders forwards +/- with Ricky in net and with him watching from a safe distance.  I only used players who played at least 30 games this season.

Forward

+/- w/ DiPietro

+/- w/o DiPietro

Difference

Kyle Okposo

-8

+11

+19

Matt Moulson

-11

+1

+12

Frans Nielsen

+1

+12

+11

Michael Grabner

+1

+12

+11

John Tavares

-13

-3

+10

P.A. Parenteau

-8

Even

+8

Trevor Gillies

-3

Even

+3

Josh Bailey

-7

-6

+1

Matt Martin

-7

-6

+1

Zenon Konopka

-7

-7

Even

Jesse Joensuu

-1

-5

-4

Blake Comeau

-5

-12

-7

 

As you can see, the +/- difference for the first two lines is significant.  Only one of those forwards had a negative +/- rating when DiPietro was not in net, and I'm sure I speak for all of Islanders Nation in saying that if John Tavares had finished the season at a -3, I'd be ecstatic.  The other two lines still had negative ratings, but still mostly showed improvements in games DiPietro did not play.  All but 3 forwards showed an improvement when Ricky wasn't on the ice, with only Jesse Joensuu and Blake Comeau having worse ratings.

Now here's a breakdown of the Islanders D-Men:

Defenseman

+/- w/ DiPietro

+/- w/o DiPietro

Difference

Radek Martinek

-11

+6

+17

Jack Hillen

-9

+4

+13

Andrew MacDonald

Even

+9

+9

Travis Hamonic

+2

+2

Even

Milan Jurcina

-2

-2

Even

Mark Eaton

-1

-1

Even

 

The difference in the defense is split.  While three defenseman had the exact same +/- rating with and without DiPietro in net, the other three defenseman showed a big improvement.  Just think about how great of a season we'd be saying Jack Hillen had if there was no DiPietro, instead of some of us talking about the fall off in his game this year and how the Islanders should move him for someone better.  And re-signing Radek Martinek wouldn't even be an issue if he was sporting the +/- rating he had without DiPietro in net.

All in all, only 2 players of the Islanders regulars did not show an improvement in +/- rating when DiPietro wasn't playing.  Now I don't take the greatest stock in +/-, but I do take stock in a huge disparity in numbers, which is obvious.  I'm not blaming Rick DiPietro for all the ills of the Islanders, but I do believe he is the biggest problem, and the one that must be corrected before the Islanders can ever consider themselves a playoff contender.  I know all the issues at hand -the contract and Wang's man crush, specifically- but shouldn't a winning product and the prospect of Charles actually making money from owning the Islanders trump those issues?

Let's hope for all our sakes that Mr. Wang gets it...sooner rather than later.

<em>Submitted FanPosts do not necessarily reflect the views of this blog or SB Nation. If you're reading this statement, you pass the fine print legalese test. Four stars for you.</em>

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