DiPietro's First Twenty Minutes Just A New Beginning

 

All you are apt to read about Rick DiPietro’s start for the Sound Tigers on Friday night is that he gave up five goals in his twenty minutes in the net. All that most of you have read about him coming into the game has been ‘page-six’ journalism at its worst. (Photo by Dave Csordas)

At the center of much of the miss-information that garnered attention, were ‘tweets’ that Kevin Maher (News 12 Long Island’s Sports Director) posted inferring DiPietro was so depressed about his being placed on waivers he had considered suicide. Toss in a few misrepresentations gathered during an interview that the oft out-spoken DiPietro was kind enough give him, and Maher earned a re-tweet or two and perhaps a headline.

Justin Demarco offers his opinion on Mr. Maher’s attempt at news “As Local as Local News Gets”, in his very well written blog here. (Please give it a read.)

Rick DiPietro started his 100th game as a Sound Tiger Friday night. The vast majority of those games came between 2001 and 2004 when his star was rising and four more while on a re-conditioning assignment in 09-10.

While many of his first ninety-nine starts were memorable, this one was not.

Just over 2 mins. into the game BST captain Matt Watkins was called for an AHL hooking penalty. The Whale scored a quick power play goal when the Rangers  recently demoted Chris Kreider set himself up in front of a very loose Tiger defense to DP’s left and banked home a gimme.

Thirty-two seconds later Matt Donovan was called for a cross-check. It only took a few seconds of man advantage for the Whales leading scorer Chris Newbury to find Brandon Segal a half step in front of Tigers Brock Nelson on a beauty of a cross-ice pass for the score. Two shots, two goals and less than four minutes off the clock.

DiPietro got his first save of the night when he gloved a shot by Micheal Haley from the left circle but couldn’t stop a shot by Vernace through traffic halfway through the period. Three goals and DP didn’t have a chance on any of them.

I don’t do play-by-play well, for the whole story read Michael Fornabaio’s recap here, but the game was lost – it was lost before it started.

DiPietro had practiced with the team only three times before his start and is what my dad called a ‘goofy-glover’. A ‘full-right goalie’, I learned, is what he meant and it means nothing more than the goalie holds his stick with his blocker in his left hand and wears his trapper (glove) on his right but it drove my father nuts when “That ‘goofy-gloved’ SOB”, Blackhawks goalie Tony Esposito, beat his beloved Bruins.

As fast as the game of hockey is, it is hard to understand how important to the players the sounds of the game are. Like a good outfielder in baseball can tell by the crack of the bat when to gain that extra half step necessary to catch a line drive or back up to the warning track and salute the balls flight over the fence, the ‘thwuck’ of a puck caught in a trapper, the ‘thwump’ of a puck hitting a goalies pads or blocker or the ‘thwack’ of a puck hitting a goalies stick helps a player get that all important half step jump start on where they need to be positioned.

It will take time for the team to adjust to a ‘goofy-gloved’ goaltender and it will take time for DiPietro to adjust to the young talent he has in front of him but the adjustments will be come.

 

-Mike Flannery

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