FanPost

DiPietro-Was he ever a quality goaltender?

I'm just a little tired of the DP debating and this and that, so I just want to point out Rick's history in net "before" he got hurt.

The stats: http://islanders.nhl.com/club/player.htm?id=8468481#&navid=nyi-keymatch 

His 02/03 stint, 1st year in the NHL was only 10gms and nothing to talk about because it showed nothing and explained nothing. So we start with his 1st "full" nhl year, 03/04, and go from there:

03/04- .911 save percentage  l  50starts l  5 Shutouts  l 23wins  l Overall=~Average NHL Starter

Isles finished: 8th in the East

DP RANKINGS AMONG NHL STARTING GOALIES(50+ starts):

Save Percentage: 14th in the NHL  Shutouts-8th in the NHL 

 

05/06- .900 save percentage  l  63starts l  1 Shutout  l 30wins l Overall=Slightly Sub-par(?) NHL starter

Isles finished: 12th in the East

DP RANKINGS AMONG NHL STARTING GOALIES(50+ starts):

Save Percentage-10th in NHL  Shutouts-29th in the NHL

This year confused me a little. It was "the return" year, where there seemed to be a lot of subpar goalie numbers. DP's .900 wasn't low among NHL starters, but there were a couple 40gm+ starters ahead of him not included in the starters. Honestly, you could consider this an average NHL starter year, but I'll throw it into slightly sub-par.

 

06/07- .919 save percentage  l  62starts l  5 Shutouts  l 32wins  l Overall= Above-Average Starter(Top 5/Top 8 this season)

Isles finished: 8th in the East

DP RANKINGS AMONG NHL STARTING GOALIES(50+ starts):

Save Percentage-3rd in the NHL  Shutouts-6th in the NHL

 

THEN, DP had Major Hip Surgery in the 07 offseason, to fix a torn labrum in his left hip. The beginning of major problems.



When put into context, it's evident that DP has "never" been a bad nhl starting goalie his pre-injury career, so this means, he got a lot of crap for nothing before the injuries struck. Has DP been amazing? No, overall a slightly above average goaltender. And then let's not forget, DP was still maturing before he got hurt! And for the most part, he did all this on mediocre to sub-par teams in his early career. Pretty impressive.

 

Just to point out also, Wang didn't make a mistake putting a lot of faith in Ricky. He had shown at the time that he was giving every indication of becoming a top 10 goalie in the NHL in the future. It just so happened he hit a few injury bumps (OK, a lot) that derailed his likely great future and career as a top goalie in net for the islanders. It's very sad honestly.

 

So please, stop acting like RDP was never gonna be something special, he gave every indication he was, it's just that the injury bug hit hard before he could, 3yrs+ hard.

 

That said, who knows what to make of him. Some think he will never be the same, some think he could become a usable NHL starter. I have faith. DP is still one of the hardest training netminders in the NHL, whether it shows or not. He's gone through so many surgeries that a ton of players would have thrown in the towel from. DP had the talent level and progression of becoming a top 10 goalie  in the nhl, so he doesn't have to get back to the level he once was to be usable, all he has to do is be passable, which is a real possibility. All I ask is to give him the benefit of the doubt for now. Everyone expected him to come back rusty last year, some for a month, some for a couple months, some for the whole season. And in that time last year, DP showed he could be a good starter in a stretch of games while playing in front of an injury destroyed team. Don't go off "usual" numbers or "common" things with DP and his career, because he is far from the run of the mill situation. Just give DP a chance, he's the healthiest he's been in years and he may surprise you. That's all I ask, don't write him off before the season starts because it would be extremely unfair to him and his commitment to this team for now.

 

SO PLEASE, just give DP a clean slate to start the season.

 

(You don't have to believe anything, all I ask you to do is give him a clean slate. I honestly think DP will come back with a .910+ save percentage this year and win the starter job. It may sound farfetched, but it's just my belief and guess.)

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